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In pictures: Little Blake Barley from Dereham’s amazing recovery

Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. With him is Dad Luke and Mum Debbie. Picture Matthew Usher.

Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. With him is Dad Luke and Mum Debbie. Picture Matthew Usher.

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These heart-warming pictures will melt the heart of every parent or grand-parent. They chart a young boy’s brave battle with an illness which five years ago left him unable to walk.

Blake Barley (4) walking with best friend Charlie King (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.Blake Barley (4) walking with best friend Charlie King (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Born with a rare form of cerebral palsy Blake Barley, from Dereham, was expected to spend much of his life in a wheelchair.

But family, friends and supporters rallied round to support an appeal launched by the Dereham Times. In just six months they raised £80,000 to send him to America for an operation.

Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. Picture Matthew Usher.Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. Picture Matthew Usher.

As they left the St Louis Children’s Hospital and set off for their home in Toftwood on Christmas Day, 2011 Blake’s mum Debbie, dad Luke, brother Bryce and sister Beth just wanted to see him be able to walk unaided and run, jump and play like other children.

The operation, carried out five days earlier, was a complete success. Now Blake who can not only walk unaided but also run, jump, swim - and even do karate.

A happy Blake Barley after reaching the £50,000 target. Picture by: Matthew Usher.A happy Blake Barley after reaching the £50,000 target. Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Mrs Barley said her son’s progress was “absolutely unbelievable”.

Blake, who is now aged eight, was born 10 weeks premature and developed a form of cerebral palsy after suffering a bleed on his brain.

Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. Picture Matthew Usher.Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. Picture Matthew Usher.

Stiffness in his leg muscles meant he could only walk on tiptoes and needed to wear leg splints to force his heels to the ground.

Young Blake still needs to undergo regular physiotherapy and his condition continues to cause him some problems. He struggles with balance and co-ordination and can tire easily. His next goals are to learn to roller-skate, ride a bike and skip.

Blake Barley (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.Blake Barley (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Blake Barley (4) with his best friend Charlie King (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.Blake Barley (4) with his best friend Charlie King (4) at Toftwood Infant School, 12 months after his operation to help him walk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A RJ Bartrum & Son Funeral Service in Dereham held a car wash in aid of Blake Barley appeal - David MacPherson (left) cleans the car, while Blake Barley looks on. Picture by: Matthew Usher.A RJ Bartrum & Son Funeral Service in Dereham held a car wash in aid of Blake Barley appeal - David MacPherson (left) cleans the car, while Blake Barley looks on. Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. With him is Dad Luke and Mum Debbie. Picture Matthew Usher.Blake Barley is now back from America, follwing his life changing surgery, allowing him to already walk a short distance. With him is Dad Luke and Mum Debbie. Picture Matthew Usher.

A happy Blake Barley after reaching the £50,000 target. Picture by: Matthew Usher.A happy Blake Barley after reaching the £50,000 target. Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Blake Barley in the splints he has to wear day and night. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK.; Photo: Bill SmithBlake Barley in the splints he has to wear day and night. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK.; Photo: Bill Smith

Blake Barley with his splints and walking frame. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK. Photo: Bill SmithBlake Barley with his splints and walking frame. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK. Photo: Bill Smith

Blake Barley in the garden with his mum Debbie. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK. Photo: Bill SmithBlake Barley in the garden with his mum Debbie. The three-year-old has cerebral palsy, and his parents are trying to raise the money to take him to America for an operation not available in the UK. Photo: Bill Smith

Blake Barley, eight, second left, with his family, mum Debbie, sister Beth, 14, and brother Bryce, 12, as they celebrate five years since his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBlake Barley, eight, second left, with his family, mum Debbie, sister Beth, 14, and brother Bryce, 12, as they celebrate five years since his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Blake Barley, eight, with his mum, Debbie, as they celebrate five years since his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBlake Barley, eight, with his mum, Debbie, as they celebrate five years since his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Blake Barley, eight, enjoying running five years after his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBlake Barley, eight, enjoying running five years after his life-changing operation which enabled him to walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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