WATCH: Lukas well on the path to standing up for himself

Lukas is simply a bundle of joy, regardless of the challenges he faces. Photo: Supplied.

Only six months ago, Lukas Etsebeth was barely able to leopard crawl around the room. Now, after dedicated physiotherapy, he can already hold his own when doing standing exercises twice a week.

Lukas was born a normal baby on 20 January 2015, but ever since, his life has been nothing short of a challenge for him and his loved ones.

It all started shortly after he was born, when, during his routine six-week check-up, the doctor detected some bleeding on his brain when he did a sonar scan. Lukas eventually went for an MRI on 22 May 2015. This indicated that he had excessive fluid on his brain, so a shunt was inserted in June of the same year.

Also Read: Try walking a mile in Baby Lukas’ shoes

Lukas Etsebeth has to use a standing frame to gain strength and improve his muscle tone. Photo: Supplied.

Over the next year or so, Lukas was in and out of hospital for various reasons, ranging from a simple fever to being diagnosed with the Coxsackie virus, a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus that can lead to hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

In July 2016, Lukas stopped the minimal talking he had developed, and hasn’t been able to speak since.

Lukas began physiotherapy sessions in January 2017, when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and his parents believe the physiotherapy has definitely helped.

That belief is more than justified in the immense progress that Lukas, who is three this year, has made in the five or six months since we last paid him a visit.

Despite his inability to walk at this stage, Lukas thoroughly enjoys his time outside. Photo: Supplied.

He has undergone surgery to insert botox into his feet and ankles in an attempt to aid in his learning to stand and walk. Unfortunately for Lukas, he has poor muscle tone, which makes it difficult for his muscles to develop quickly and learn what he’s missed out in the last three years. However, despite the challenges and obstacles, the physiotherapy he’s undergone has seen him making a marked improvement.

His posture has improved amazingly, and he can finally stand with minimal support from the physiotherapist, albeit with the assistance of splints on his ankles, which he received earlier this year. Lukas is also able to sit up straight in a special chair without extra support, which means his back strength (a problematic area initially) has improved significantly.

All in all, Lukas has a while to go before he can run, but if he keeps on making the immense strides he has been in the last six months, he might not need a follow-up botox operation to further strengthen his legs and ankles.

 

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Blake Linder
Journalist

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