CARNOUSTIE twins Ayley and Chloe Hirsch are coming on leaps and bounds according to their mother Averil.
This week, Averil described to the Guide & Gazette her joy at seeing her two girls dance and soon horse-ride, so soon after their life-changing operation.
They suffered from a form of cerebral palsy which severely hampered their ability to walk, which saw Chloe confined to a wheelchair and Ayley to a walking frame.
A massive fund-raising campaign for an operation in St Louis saw over £175,000 donated, and the girls returned in February from their selective dorsal rhizotomy with a new lease of life.
Soon they will be attending The Brae Riding for the Disabled School near Broughty Ferry, an idea unthinkable just a short time ago.
Averil said: “They got accepted for Braes Riding School last Wednesday. They start at the riding class on April 9.
“It will do the girls the world of good. The horse-riding should give them a more intense sort of physio.”
Horse-riding is increasingly being used as a therapeutic tool to treat everything from physical injuries to mental illness.
It was first suggested while they were still in the US to help develop the girls’ core muscles to aid walking.
Averil commented: “The girls are so excited they can’t wait to get started.
“They both sat on the horses fantastically. Ayley sat on her horse like a pro and Chloe was also great. They took to it amazingly.”
Ayley and Chloe will attend The Brae every Thursday for a 12-week block as part of a rota with other families, but Thursdays are already a very busy day for the twins!
Averil explained: “They’ve also started at Fiona Forbes Dance School in the Mini Movers class on a Thursday afternoon.
“Fiona has very kindly been asking what they have been doing in physio and working that into what they do in class.
“They’ve been a bit shy but I’m sure they’ll come out of their shells soon. Fiona and Rachel work wonderfully with the girls.”
Ayley and Chloe’s mobility is developing at a steady rate as Averil explained: “Ayley is just doing superbly, her ability to walk about is so much better.
“She is now managing to get in and out of my car which she was never able to do before. While Chloe is now able to walk from the car to the nursery doors.
“Ayley was in the garden playing football with Lilly the other day and I hope this is going to continue.
“I want to see them walk through those gates at the start of primary one.”
However, the Hirsch family will have their moment of truth soon enough as Averil revealed: “They have their first appointment with the NHS consultants in April.
“I’m hoping to prove them wrong and prove to them they were wrong in not supporting us and telling us that it wouldn’t work.
“To see the girls walk through that door puts egg on their faces.”