Marcus Sian is in awe of his new-found abilities.
The youngster contracted a rare disease known as transverse myelitis when he was eight months old, which left him with paralysis in parts of his body.
“By the time we got to The Royal Children’s Hospital he was paralysed from the neck down and was virtually a ragdoll,” Mum Jessica Sian says.
“It was the most terrifying time.”
But thanks to an innovative team of surgeons at the RCH, Marcus can now walk, run and play on his own.
“He’s turned into a very, very different child,” Ms Sian says.
“He’s walking literally everywhere on his own, everywhere. He can run, he can ride his bicycle, he’s learning to play tennis at school.
“This time last year he wasn’t able to stand steady on his own. We wouldn’t have dreamt of him being able to ride a bike or play tennis.
“We wouldn’t have come this far without that surgery and everything else the hospital has done.”
The Good Friday Appeal, which supports the RCH, ensures children like Marcus continue to receive the care they need.
Originally published in the Herald Sun, April 10
Words: Alanah Frost
Images: Alex Coppel