This is the heartwarming moment a four-year-old girl with cerebral palsy manages to walk into school unaided on her first day back.
A video shows Lilac Jackson, who recently underwent spinal surgery, stepping through the playground at Woodmancote Primary School in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, leaving parents Leila, 37, and Barry, 39, shocked and amazed.
It comes after her mother told MailOnline that Lilac’s part in Channel 4 series Deadwater Fell with Doctor Who actor David Tennant had left her feeling ’empowered’ and ‘believing she can do anything’.
The little girl suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which causes muscle stiffness and spasms in the legs and arms, as well as problems with coordination, balance and joint movements.
An incredible video shows Lilac Jackson, 4, stepping through the playground and entering her classroom at school for the first time. The little girl suffers from cerebral palsy, which can cause muscle stiffness in the arms and legs
Incredible footage shows Lilac taking at least 35 steps independently into the school’s playground, before taking the hand of a waiting adult.
Her mother Leila could hardly contain her excitement, and said the defiant moment was ‘everything we’ve ever wanted’.
‘It just says so much about how far she’s come, and how ready she was for this.
‘All parents stop and reflect on their child’s first day of school, but for Lilac this is such a huge milestone. She lives an extraordinary life.’
Her mother Leila said the defiant moment was ‘everything we’ve ever wanted’. She now hopes that her daughter’s walking sticks can soon be dumped in the garage and collect dust
‘She was quite nervous about walking into school by herself on Monday, so I’d sort of resigned myself to the fact that walking in without sticks might not happen.
‘When we got to the drop-off point I told her to just try a couple of steps. But then when I dropped her hand, she just flew past me.’
The middle child out of three, Lilac was born at 34 weeks in Princess royal hospital, Bromley, south-east London, five weeks after her mother’s waters broke.
But within 24 hours of her birth in 2014, she she was rushed to King’s college Hospital for further treatment and kept on life support for five days.
Her mother Leila (pictured with Lilac) was told she would likely never walk, talk and would spend her life in a wheelchair after she was born
Now, Lilac is a budding actress who is set to star as Charlotte in Channel 4’s upcoming thriller Deadwater Fell, alongside Broadchurch actor David Tennant (Pictured on set with co-stars Orla Russell and Felicity Keegan)
Speaking about her progress since being diagnosed, Leila said that her daughter is ‘as tough as old boots’.
‘She’s been blowing her teachers’ minds all week, because they look round and her sticks are lying there and she’s pottering around the classroom.’
And the family are hoping that if Lilac carries on making progress she won’t need any sticks which can ‘sit in the garage and gather dust’.
Her mother is raising money for her daughter through the page Lilac’s Little Legs, which has so far raised over £100,000 for treatment.
Speaking about signing up her daughter to acting, mother Leila told Femail: ‘Modelling and acting for us has never been about fame and fortune.
‘It has been about empowering Lilac to believe in herself, to believe she can do anything she wants to, that she can take advantage of any opportunity that comes her way.
‘All of her little life, people have tried to pigeonhole her into a box where she won’t do this or can’t do that. She is proving all the doubters wrong, day after day.’
Lilac, pictured enjoying a day at the beach during summer holidays. Her mother admitted she was nervous about starting school and that nobody expected her to walk in unaided
The middle child out of three, Lilac was born at 34 weeks in Princess Royal hospital, Bromley, south-east London, five weeks after her mother’s waters broke. She is also set to star in the television programme Deadwater Fell with Doctor Who star David Tennant, which her mother said has left her daughter feeling ’empowered’
Leila decided to sign Lilac up with Zebedee Management, which specialises in talent with disabilities, as a way to ‘raise even more awareness’ about her condition.
The actress’ spastic diplegia cerebral palsy causes muscle stiffness in the legs, and makes it difficult for Lilac to move without a wheelchair or a walking stick.
The condition is caused by brain damage during pregnancy or childbirth and it affects one in every 400 babies born in the UK every year.
What is spastic diplegia cerebral palsy?
Diplegic cerebral palsy, sometimes known as spastic diplegia, is one of three types of spastic cerebral palsy.
It affects the legs and sometimes the arms of young children, making their limbs stiff and contracted and crawling and walking difficult.
Some children may also suffer problems with balance, seizures and joint contractures.
– Difficulty standing alone up to the age of three
– Infants and toddlers may prefer to sit in a ‘W’ shape
– Children may walk with their feet turned inward or may frequently roll their feet
– Their leg muscles may quickly change from stiff to floppy and relaxed
Diplegic cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage during pregnancy or childbirth and affects one in every 400 babies born in the UK every year.
Source: Cerebral palsy guidance