‘So proud of our little star’

A REMARKABLE little girl doctors feared would never walk is to take to the stage – and dance.

Cerebral palsy sufferer Lacey Hilton, three, will defy medics when she walks on to the stage in Chesterfield in front of her overjoyed family – for a performance they thought they would never see.

Mum Nicola had a tear in her eye this week as she watched her daughter practising her steps in a bumble-bee tutu in preparation for the show at the Pomegranate Theatre.

She said: “At the start of the year, I never thought my beautiful little daughter would be walking let alone dancing in a show like this – it’s a miracle. I’m as proud as punch.” Lacey – who spent weeks in hospital after being born with severe breathing problems – wasn’t walking by the time she turned three last December. An MRI scan revealed the youngster had brain damage and doctors said she would never walk.

Accountant Nicola, 41, of Malia Road, Chesterfield, said: “I was devastated. I wanted her to be like any other child. I wanted her to be able to walk, to run, to skip, to dance – I didn’t want her to have to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.”

But Lacey defied the odds and took her first steps in June.

“I just couldn’t believe it – I started crying. I was so amazed, so proud,” said Nicola.

“It was just an absolute miracle – even the doctors said that.” Nicola said she believed Lacey’s little body became stronger since she took up dance classes at Chesterfield-based Kickers Dance Studio, which is organising next week’s show.

Nicola explained: “She’s been going to the studio since she was ten-months-old but she couldn’t stand up or walk so I used to support her. Over time I think the lessons have helped strengthen the core muscles in her body, giving her that stability to stand up.” Dance teacher Beca Fogg said Lacey was “absolutely fabulous” and always smiling. She added: “She’s a little star and I’m extremely proud of her. The lessons have made her stronger and a lot more confident.”

The dance show, called Take It From the Top, will be performed at the Pomegranate Theatre between November 16 and November 19 at 7pm. Nicola said: “When I see her on that stage with all the other girls, it’s going to be incredibly special – I’ll be so proud I think I’ll cry all the way through.”

michael.broomhead@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

Video by Mary Ann Pickford.