A GIRL who couldn’t walk for two years has taken her first steps with the help of custom-made casts.

Toni-Jo Nie, from Burnham, suffers from Ataxia-Telangectasia syndrome, which causes problems with walking, balance and hand coordination due to nerve disturbances.

She was left wheelchair-bound throughout most of the Covid pandemic, but in May this year underwent surgery at Broomfield Hospital to correct a problem with her feet.

The nine-year-old chose unicorn casts to help get her back walking again, which she had to wear for several months.

Tina-Jo’s mum, Anna, praised her daughter’s consultant and the eye-catching casts.

Anna said: "It was humbling to meet Pranai Buddhdev, Toni-Jo’s consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

"He is just passionate about what he does and took the time to explain the surgery in a clear way to her.

"It’s brilliant Toni-Jo is walking again. Everyone was fascinated by the casts, she absolutely adored the unicorn theme casts and loved showing them off to her school friends."

The custom-made casts have been taken off and Toni-Jo now uses a walking frame to help her move around.

Pranai Buddhdev said: "Having a playful aspect to children’s recovery is important and shouldn’t be ignored.

"The team took great joy and pride in creating these special custom casts for Toni-Jo, there was nothing better than seeing the smile on her face when she was first shown them."