Norfolk

Twins learn to walk at Norwich boxing sessions

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Media captionBoxing helps twins walk for first time

A mother who was told her twin sons would never walk has said watching them take their first steps unaided has been "out of this world".

Daniel and Thomas Bristow, aged nine, have a rare form of muscular atrophy, which affects their strength.

Mother Vicky credits boxing sessions at a Norwich gym with helping the boys stand without support and walking, reported the Eastern Daily Press.

"Being able to walk with them and hold their hands is a dream," she said.

"I didn't believe this would happen.

"If you can imagine all those years of being really sad and being told they wouldn't be able to walk - and now what has happened - it's just epic."

Image copyright Vicky Bristow
Image caption Vicky Bristow said she loved her sons unconditionally but lived with years of sadness that they could not walk

Unable to stand as toddlers, the boys were diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and have undergone several operations to improve their mobility.

They had progressed from wheelchairs to walking frames but the breakthrough came when they joined Able2B gym, for people with disabilities, in January.

Daniel and Thomas spar with a partner while using a box as a leaning support, and in time they stepped away, stood unaided and walked.

"What they [the gym] have done for the boys has been incredible," said Ms Bristow.

"They are walking without thinking about it because they are boxing. There is so much positive support."

Ms Bristow, of Blofield, near Norwich, is enjoying simple pleasures with her sons, a stand-up cuddle or watching them stomp in puddles.

Image copyright VIcky Bristow
Image caption Thomas made his way to a water table at school unaided, and Daniel was caught rooting around in the freezer having walked across the kitchen

"My mum left a piece of toast on the worktop and Daniel walked over and pinched it, and I caught him cheekily going through the freezer," she said.

"I'm only 4ft 11in (1.5m) so I am pleased they've learned to walk before they're taller than me.

"I have a completely different relationship with them now."

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