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Machine offers hope to Portsmouth teen with cerebral palsy
A teenager with cerebral palsy is hoping a machine will help him avoid major surgery to have his hips removed.
Sam Deakin, 16, from Portsmouth, has already undergone four operations on his hips which means he is no longer able to walk with a frame.
He has been trialling a training machine from Norway called the Innowalk. His mother says it has significantly reduced his pain.
The machine costs £25,000 and is not available on the NHS.
Lisa Deakin said: "He has had to have four major hip reconstructions on both hips.
"If you just remove those joints, that takes away any option for Sam to ever stand up and walk again."
The Innowalk helps strengthen the muscles in Sam's legs by simulating walking movements, while also providing cardiovascular exercise.
[Sam using the Innowalk machine]
"In Norway, a lot of children have funding for the Innowalk but not in the UK at present," said Mrs Deakin.
"We've been lucky enough to trial it twice for three weeks at a time and in those three weeks the difference we've seen in Sam is a reduction in pain which means he has been able to sleep better - that in itself is priceless."
The family has already raised more than £15,000 of the cost of the machine.
Sam added: "I would just feel a lot better knowing that I've given myself the best I can and tried rather than just give up."
Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead
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