FOR any seven-year-old boy being able to run around and climb trees is a part of everyday life but that was nearly taken away from Robert Bates, seven,when he was diagnosed with scoliosis.

The climbing fanatic , of Goddard Avenue, Old Town, was told that he would need a 12-hour operation to fuse his spine solid and that it was unlikely he would ever have full flexibility again.

This was devastating news for Robert and his parents but fortunately they found an exercise routine which has drastically changed his prognosis.

Robert’s mother Claire, 39, booked a programme with Scoliosis SOS, based in London, and has seen his condition dramatically improve. Now he is able to climb again.

Claire said: “I am so lucky that I found the clinic.

“My little boy’s life was in pieces. It was horrible. I hated seeing his sad face when I had to stop him climbing and doing the things that he loves.

“Robert’s condition really changed everything for us as a family.

“Any health condition hits a family hard but being told your child needs surgery is a complete kick in the teeth.

“You are supposed to protect your child as a parent and I blamed myself for not picking it up sooner.

“I blamed the health service for being so useless and I got myself very frustrated with life.

“For a long while I felt like we were taking one step forward and then two back.

“At least with the exercise programme we are now back in charge and we can really help Robert.

“These exercises have changed everything.

“Robert is able to climb again without me being so over protective and it is so lovely to see both of my boys playing together properly like young children should.

“Robert’s outlook on life has changed.

“He is more himself again and he doesn’t look so terrified every time we go out that he is going to end up at another hospital appointment.

“I am over the moon that he doesn’t face having growth rods fitted and now when he is messing about in the trees I thank God he can still do it.”