Three-year-old Highgate boy with club foot walks nearly five miles a day on holiday

PUBLISHED: 16:41 13 July 2012

Charlie Matthews. 3, walking with a donkey on a recent holiday in Spain

Charlie Matthews. 3, walking with a donkey on a recent holiday in Spain


A Highgate boy born with a club foot has amazed his family by hiking almost five miles a day on holiday.

Three-year-old Charlie Matthews, of North Hill, was born with the condition which meant his left foot turned inwards.

At the time, his family feared he might be left permanently scarred.

But specialist treatment at the Royal Free Hospital, called the Ponseti method, has enabled the youngster to walk properly again.

The treatment involves physiotherapy, plastercasts, and special boots to correct the position of his foot. He will have to wear the boots at night and during nap times until he is five.

Mum Sue Matthews, 41, said: “I’ve always liked walking holidays and I found one where I could walk and Charlie could sit on a donkey as I thought that would be easier for him. But when we got there, he refused to sit on the donkey and walked alongside me for the entire trip.

“On the last day, we walked 13km and, although I carried him for the last bit, he did most of it. He was just incredible.

“Charlie has always lived a normal life. His development has been normal, he walked at the right time. But we know that, without this treatment, his life would have been very different. It’s easy to be complacent about it because to look at him now you can’t see anything wrong with his foot.”

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