Kayden defies the odds by the mile
A Thurso boy who doctors said was wheelchair-bound unaided has defied the medics by taking part in the Mey Mile.
Kayden Malcolm (7) was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy when he was a baby, with walking and even being able to straighten his legs proving to be difficult.
Unfortunately, the NHS did not have the resources to help Kayden make a full recovery and prepared his parents, Alan and Sarah, for the worst that one day their son would be confined to a wheelchair.
However, mum and dad were determined to do all they could for Kayden and raised £80,000 in a fundraising drive to pay for a specialist selective dorsal rhizotomy operation in St Louis, Missouri, in the United States.
The procedure was successful and now Kayden can straighten his legs and walk for a period of time unaided. He still has to attend a course of intensive physiotherapy but has made considerable progress.
The Mey Mile was part of Sunday's annual Castle of Mey 10k programme.
Mum Sarah said: "He's completely knackered from his efforts at Mey.
"Kayden didn't complete the full course – that would have been too much for him. He did the start and the finish – we gave him a lift during the middle part.
"The idea for him to do this came from family friend [and endurance runner] Lorna Stanger who helped in the fundraising for Kayden to go to America. She did a sponsored run from Thurso to Inverness.
"She asked if Kayden would accompany her in the Mey Mile and he was delighted to."
Kayden, who is a Gaelic medium pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Thurso, has come on well since his operation.
Sarah added: "Before the surgery, he used a walker to get around. He can now straighten his legs and take a few steps unassisted.
"In fact one of the first things he said after the operation was that he could feel his toes – a little thing that most of us take for granted, but was a special moment.
"His schoolmates have been great with him. They're always willing to help if he needs it.
"Kayden's on a course of intensive physiotherapy, which we knew before the operation would be required once we were able to get him back home.
"We go down to Perth in two-week blocks at the Walk This Way UK centre there and the staff are brilliant."