She was the Glenrothes youngster who captured the hearts of the town as the family raised funds to take her to America to undergo pioneering and life changing surgery.
Now two years later and much to mum and dad, Katie Bird and Grant Neilson’s, dedication and the generosity of the Glenrothes public, a major milestone has been reached in little daughter Kayla’s life, as she walked confidently in for her first day at Rimbleton Primary School.
The ‘Help Kayla’ campaign was set up in 2012 to raise £60,000 for the youngster who was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy, after being born 10 weeks premature in 2010.
Having bravely come through a ground-breaking operation and continuous physiotherapy, Kayla, now five years old, has joined class mates and teachers in what is one of the proudest moments in any parent’s lives.
“The last two or three years have been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster and I’m the first to admit there were a few tears watching Kayla in her new school uniform and taking her place with her pals,” mum Katie told the Gazette.
“Following the operation the specialists in America told us that the goal was always to have Kayla walking with the aid of a frame or sticks by the time she reached school age and she’s made it, we’re so proud of her.”
Katie admits she and her family were extremely nervous prior to their recent visit back to St Louis Children’s Hospital, but Kayla’s progress has been so good, doctors have been happy to sign her off and mark the operation a complete success.
“We see Kayla’s progress every day but to have the doctors so pleased was a massive boost; she’s come so far and had to work so hard,” said Katie.
“The school has also been fantastic in helping Kayla with the transition from nursery to primary school, it’s the next chapter of her life and there were times when we wondered if we’d ever see this day but we’re here and we’re delighted.”