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Leo was born on 1st September together with his identical twin brother Matthew and his sister Emily. At 3lbs Leo was the heaviest of the triplets.
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There were lots of visits to many hospitals. It became increasingly apparent that although Emily and Matthew were overcoming their initial difficulties associated with their premature birth, Leo was not.
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In 2009 Leo was finally diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Diplegia).

Spastic Diplegia

Spastic Diplegia refers to a type of cerebral palsy that is a neuromuscular condition of hypertonia and spasticity in the muscles of the lower extremities, usually those of the legs, hips and pelvis. It results from brain damage at birth that prevents proper development of the pyramidal tract, meaning that certain nerve receptors in the spine are unable to properly absorb the gamma amino butyric acid which would otherwise properly regulate tone in the affect areas.


With your help we raised enough money to finance the cost of life-changing surgery for Leo and the costs of the intensive after-care required for him. This surgery which is not available in Ireland, is helping him to realise his dream of walking independently. For the past 20 years children with cerebral palsy (specifically Spastic Diplegia) have been treated successfully with a procedure known as SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) at the St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, USA. In the past few years this procedure has become available at various centres in the UK including the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol where Leo attended his first consultation on 16th July 2012. After extensive assessments and tests he was accepted as a suitable candidate for surgery which was carried out on 12th March 2013 in the Barbara Russell Children’s Paediatric Neuroscience Unit at the hospital.
The special bond between the triplets means that Leo’s future is inextricably bound up with those of Matthew and Emily. He is fortunate in having them as such loving companions who anxiously watch over him and give him their unique brand of support and encouragement.
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With the help of his friends ……

Leo leads a very full and active life. He attends Enable Ireland once a fortnight, does horse-riding, swimming, yoga, hydrotherapy and bike-riding. As a keen soccer fan he is excited to be joining ‘Frame Football’ in the next few weeks. He is an enthusiastic member of the Greystones Beavers.
In August 2015 Leo began specialised therapy sessions with Mark Shane Harries at SDR Fitness Wales in Cardiff. His initial visit was a milestone in his development. The “I Can and I Will” philosophy and the experience of real achievement make these treasured visits.
Leo loves his school, St Kevins, NS. His happiness is due in no small measure to his loving classmates, the Principal, Mr Vance and his class teacher, Miss Dolan. Having been forced to be away from school so much, his two Special Needs Assistants, Elaine and Caroline are always so generous with their time to make sure he achieves his full potential. The kindness and support he receives from everyone associated with the school is remarkable.
Ensuring that Leo builds his core strength and remains as mobile as possible, long hours are devoted to relentless exercise and muscle building. Daniela Dietl, his personal trainer, is a constant source of encouragement and determination. Despite the exhausting regime, Leo really enjoys his sessions with her and they are firm friends. Daniela is much more than “Leo’s trainer”. She is a close friend of Leo’s Mum, Julia, and supports her in every aspect of Leo’s care, from baby-sitting, swimming lessons, ferrying Leo around and much more.