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Leg-endary unicorn casts help girl walk again

 A girl who couldn’t walk for two years has taken her first steps with the help of some magical unicorn leg casts.

Toni-Jo Nie, aged nine, from Burnham on Crouch, suffers from Ataxia-Telangectasia syndrome, which causes problems with walking, balance and hand coordination due to nerve disturbances.

She was left wheelchair-bound throughout most of the Covid pandemic, but back in May this year underwent surgery at Broomfield Hospital to correct a problem with her feet.  She chose unicorn casts to help get her back walking again, which she had to wear for several months.

Tina-Jo’s mum, Anna, has praised her daughter’s consultant and the eye-catching casts.

She said: “It was humbling to meet Pranai Buddhdev, Toni-Jo’s consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon. He is just passionate about what he does and took the time to explain the surgery in a clear way to her.

“It’s brilliant Toni-Jo is walking again. Everyone was fascinated by the casts, she absolutely adored the unicorn theme casts and loved showing them off to her school friends.”             

The custom-made casts were taken off in July, with Toni-Jo now using a walking frame to help her move around.

Pranai Buddhdev said: “Having a playful aspect to children’s recovery is important and shouldn’t be ignored. The team took great joy and pride in creating these special custom casts for Toni-Jo, there was nothing better than seeing the smile on her face when she was first shown them.”


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