A youngster who is battling cerebral palsy has taken the runner-up spot in the Gazette’s ‘Dear Santa’ competition.
Aaron Bell, 10, wrote that he deserved a special gift from Santa because of the progress he has made since undergoing an operation earlier this year.
The youngster, from Landseer Gardens, Whiteleas, South Shields, won £50 worth of shopping vouchers to spend at Dalton Park Shopping Centre, in Seaham.
The competition called on our young readers to tell us why they deserved an extra special gift from Santa in a letter starting with ‘I deserve a special gift from Santa because ... ’
Aaron told us he has been walking unaided since his operation in January and is also doing well at school.
His mum, Louise Bell, said she was proud of Aaron’s progress and was delighted he had won a prize.
She said: “Aaron has cerebral palsy and we were told that if he wasn’t walking by the age of seven he never would.
“But since the operation he has been walking, and we are over the moon. He had a big operation in 2010 and another one in January this year. Since then he has got stronger and stronger.”
The operation in 2010 saw Aaron have metal plates put in his legs and kneecaps, and in January this year cow bone was placed in his feet and ankles to make them stronger.
The Bamburgh School pupil who lives with his mum and bus driver dad Mark, is happy and talkative, despite his battle with his condition.
“He is only quiet when he is asleep!” said his mum.