Space suit to help Offord Cluny girl walk again

AJS Dance Academy (l-r) Amanda Smith and Rob Smith present a cheque to Molly Moore, with her sister

AJS Dance Academy (l-r) Amanda Smith and Rob Smith present a cheque to Molly Moore, with her sister Daisy Moore, at their home in Offord - Credit: Archant

A 10-year-old girl could soon be a few steps closer to standing on her own two feet thanks to the generosity of a St Neots dance academy.

Molly Moore, who has not been able to walk unaided since a second stroke at the age of six left her in a wheelchair, set off last Sunday (September 29) to Slovakia, home of the Adeli Centre, where she will get two weeks of intensive rehabilitation.

Accompanied by her mum, Katie, 42, the Moore family are hopeful the specialists at Adeli will help Molly’s recovery.

However, the trip would not have been possible without the support AJS Dance Academy – its summer show All Aboard, which included nearly 200 performers, raised £5,267.81 to help Molly.

Mrs Moore, of Opeford Close, Offord Cluny, said: “I was stunned when I found out how much money they had raised – it’s enough to pay for two fortnight-long sessions in Slovakia which cost £2,600 each.

“I knew it was a big show, but I thought with all the production costs there wouldn’t be much left over.”

Ever since the strokes, Molly’s family – including dad Jason and sister Daisy, eight – have done all they can to get her back on her feet.

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But the rehabilitation provided in Slovakia could be key. Molly will receive 72 hours of rehabilitation in the two weeks.

Part of the therapy will involve time in the Adeli suit, which was first used in the 1970s to keep Russian astronauts’ muscles active in the weightless space environment.

The suit uses a system of elastic bands and pulleys to create forces against which the body can work – helping to renew reflex pathways from the brain to the muscles.

Mrs Moore added: “She’ll be having six hours of therapy every day other than the middle Sunday where she gets a rest.

“There isn’t a magic formula – Molly asked us ‘when I come back from Slovakia will I be fixed?’

“We told her if we have to send you somewhere 20 or 30 times we will find the money and it will be worth it.”

AJS became involved with the Moore family when Amanda Smith, who runs the academy, heard about Molly’s dream to walk again.

Mrs Smith, who lives in Hartford, had to learn to walk again herself after having major reconstructive surgery on her foot in 2008.

She added: “We’re really proud to have raised so much money for such a special girl.”

A further £500 raised from the show went to the Children’s Society.