Two brothers living with challenging health conditions had an exclusive tour around 10 Downing Street where they met David Cameron.
Josh, a cerebral palsy sufferer, underwent a pioneering operation in 2012 at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital to help him walk properly for the first time while brother Jon has a bone condition. Both have overcome their difficulties to play international wheelchair rugby and basketball.
Josh, known for his big smile, recently tweeted: “Walked for 5:58 mins in the field at my grandad and grandma’s house!”
It was just over two years ago that he underwent a complex operation that reduced the ‘tightness’ in his muscles. In combination with intensive physiotherapy, Josh is now able to bend his legs so that he can walk more normally rather than dragging his legs.
The brothers were accompanied to Downing Street by grandparents Peter and Dorothy Butterworth from Great Boughton.
Posing for pictures outside the famous door, their mum Joan said: “My boys have had an incredible time at Number 10, a building so few people get to see inside. The highlight had to be having a very long chat with the Prime Minister who knew so much about Joshua and Jonathan.”
Stephen Mosley MP commented: “Joshua and Jonathan are truly inspirational. When I told the PM about them he was very keen to invite them to Downing Street. The brothers’ dedication to helping each other and determination to succeed really is an example to us all.”
As part of London 2012, Joshua carried the Paralympic flame in a miner’s lamp through Ellesmere Port having collected it from London where he met David Cameron for the first time along with Sebastian Coe and mayor Boris Johnson.
In 2013, he won Young Person of the Year in the Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions scheme.
Alder Hey was only the third centre in the UK to offer the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure that Joshua underwent, which involves cutting nerves in the spine which have an abnormal reflex response.