Toddler with Cerebral Palsy Takes First Steps Wearing “Magical” Shoes
A toddler has taken her first independent steps wearing revolutionary shoes made by a small company in Sydney, Australia.
Eve Darcy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was just weeks old, and could only take small steps aided by a walking frame.
Big or small, everyday activities were a milestone until she found Magic Shoes, created by start-up AbilityMate.
“She was in daycare on Wednesday, she walked in with her frame, she didn’t go Thursday, and she walked in on her own on Friday. It happened so fast, she just took off,” Eve’s dad, Joe Darcy, told 9NEWS.
Magic Shoes use 3D printing technology to create tailored orthotics in a fraction of the time.
Measurements of the child’s foot are taken using scanners, which are sent off to a 3D printer.
Magic Shoes are then manufactured at a factory in Guildford and can be fitted in less than two months.
The fast turn-around is of huge benefit for sufferers of cerebral palsy, who often have to wait a year for a pair of properly fitted shoes.
“To be using state of the art technology, to be creating much faster, much cheaper, forms of support makes such a difference,” a Cerebral Palsy Alliance spokesman said.
AbilityMate co-founder Melissa Fuller said Magic Shoes are just the beginning of her company’s vision for assistive products.
“The potential is endless. We are starting with this product the ankle foot orthotics but there’s orthotics for heads necks, backs,” Ms Fuller said.
AbilityMate is now searching for 30 children, who fit strict criteria, to properly put Magic Shoes to the test.
Meanwhile, Eve’s mother Hiam Sakakini said her 16-month old is now thriving.
“Eve can just play in the playground like a normal child, that means she can just hang with other kids… and not be held back by the fact she was a lot less mobile,” Ms Sakakini said.
“I can go into a playground with her and she can just go.”