A north-east mum has spoken of her joy after her 11-year-old son received life-changing surgery.
Elena, 40, and her husaband Matthew Kiraly, 43, from Portlethen, jetted off to America for the operation to provide a new lease of life for son Luca, who has cerebral palsy.
The Portlethen Primary School pupil was born prematurely and was diagnosed with the condition when he was just seven months old.
Luca currently needs a wheelchair when outdoors and can only walk a short distance with a walking frame.
The youngster underwent a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) on his spine which will relieve pain and help build his muscles at the end of September.
Originally from Romania, Luca moved to the north-east with his parents and older brother Matty, 16, in 2011.
The procedure took place at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, which is known as the most advanced facility for SDR.
Elena said she didn’t sleep much the night before the surgery.
She said: “The doctors phoned us every hour to let us know how everything is going. They took Luca at 12.50pm US time and the surgery was finished at 4pm.
“The surgery itself took two-and-a-half hours. “It went well but he wasn’t feeling great which is normal after anaesthetic and surgery.”
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And since the operation Elena has already seen improvements in her son’s condition.
She said: “It’s great, I can already see some improvements.
“Before the surgery he could feel his toes but couldn’t move them and now he’s starting to move his toes. This is a great thing. This is a huge improvement.
“He needs to build up his strength.
“We need to teach his muscles to work properly and correctly.
“He’s doing physio every day except the weekends.
“He’s working hard and never complaining.”
Luca is now doing physiotherapy to build up his strength before they return home later this month.
Elena said: “He’s doing great and working hard and we can’t wait to come back to Scotland.
“I’m so, so proud. We’re proud to be his parents.
“He never complains. He was laughing and joking.
“He’s just warmed everybody’s hearts here. He’s a little charmer. We’re very happy.”
Elena previously said she only became aware of the SDR surgery after reading about it in the Evening Express.
The family will travel back to Scotland later this month.