Gloves are off as Katie and Paddy get behind fight to help Sam (4) to walk
BOXERS Katie Taylor and Paddy Barnes have stepped up to help Sam Grant, who is learning how to walk against all odds.
Sam (4) is known as Mr Miracle by his doctors. The little boy was born with a range of neurological problems and doctors didn't expect him to live beyond his first birthday.
"We were told he wouldn't walk or talk or even eat," his mum Hilda told the Herald.
Now the determined Dubliner continues to defy the experts and is learning how to walk with the help of specialist therapy in Limerick.
Taylor and Barnes have both donated signed gloves to be auctioned off to raise funds for Sam's treatment.
"When I first brought him down it was the first time that somebody had ever told me that he could walk," his mum explained.
"Now he has a walker and can move around if he holds on to our furniture.
"His personality is really starting to shine through.
"He is such a loveable little boy and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mum - everyone who meets him loves him," she said.
Learning how to take his first steps is painful for Sam but he is getting stronger with every session.
Locals in Clonee, where Sam lives, raised €12,000 in just one night to help him continue on his quest to stand on his own two feet.
"He is so happy. Before he used to have to sit and watch other kids walking around," the mum-of-four said.
"Now he knows that he can do it. It's funny he starts to clap now when he recognises the roundabout near the clinic."
Sam and Hilda travel down to Limerick at weekends to the First Step Therapy clinic with longer visits over the school holidays.
Brave Sam also has limited vision and hearing difficulties but the impressive youngster is learning how to communicate with sign language now.
"He is learning more signs every day. Now he can give me his list of demands," his mum joked. He will begin school in September just after he turns five.
More details on Sam's campaign and how to get involved can be found on his facebook page called Sam's Steps and his idonate page https://www.idonate.ie/1583_sams-steps.html#tabs-0