Video: Kilburn girl is a step closer to walking for the first time

Mia Ferreira, 6, with mother Jade Michael and grandmother Tessa Bastien. Photo by Jonathan Goldberg

Mia Ferreira, 6, with mother Jade Michael and grandmother Tessa Bastien. Photo by Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Archant

Mia Ferreira is able to stand herself up after intensive treatment in the USA

When Mia Ferreira was born, her family were told she would never be able to walk.

The six-year-old from Kilburn was premature and had a severe case of Cerebral Palsy. But a random internet search from Grandmother Tessa Bastien threw up results of a specialist in the USA who has helped thousands of children learn to walk.

Determined, the family, with the Times’ support, embarked on a mission to raise the £50,000 they needed to pay for flights and intensive treatment from Dr TS Park in Missouri followed by physiotherapy sessions back home.

After just a year of fundraising, including abseil events, karaoke nights, a sponsored skydive and enlisting the support of professional football teams and several local businesses they met their target.

Mia, who attends The Village School in Kingsbury, flew out in January this year and, following a successful operation her family are already noticing signs of change.

Ms Bastien, who lives in Wembley, said: “she is able to sit on the edge of a couch and stand herself up without using her hands to support herself now - something she could never do before.

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“We still have a long way to go but Dr Park has predicted that Mia will be walking independently within a year and a half and I for one have no doubt that she will.”

The fundraising effort, dubbed Mia’s Missouri Mission, was also recently chosen as the winner of a charitable campaign organised by ASDA in Park Royal.

Under the Chosen By You Given By Us idea, customers choose who they would like to receive a £200 cheque which is then presented to the winner by the store.

“To say we are happy with the way in which things have gone for Mia since all of this happened is an understatement - we are ecstatic” – Ms Bastien said.

“I am still humbled by the kindness of so many” – she added.

Mia’s physiotherapy sessions are set to continue with the hope that she will be able to walk fully unaided.

To make a donation visit or contribute directly into the Mia Ferreira’s Mission bank account using sort code 40-03-28 and account number 52663678.

To see a video of Mia standing up by herself click on the youtube box at the top of the story.