Two years ago, Perthshire girl Arianna Fordyce had to learn to walk all over again after having major hip surgery.
Now, aged just four, the Auchterarder youngster has completed a sponsored walk – and raised more than £500 “to make other people happy”.
Despite reaching all the normal childhood targets, including learning to walk the first time, Arianna was diagnosed with bi-lateral hip dysplasia aged two.
The condition affects the hip joint, where the socket does not fully cover the ball of the upper thighbone, resulting in dislocation.
She had to endure six general anaesthetics and had casts on both legs for three months.
Arianna’s mum Helen said: “Arianna was only two-and-a-half at the time and this was a gruelling ordeal for her.
“We were told the only option for Arianna was to have surgery and it came as a real shock to us.
“After her operations Arianna had to learn to walk and stand all over again.
‘It took five months to get back on her feet’
“It took five months for her to get back on her feet but after her second operation, aged three, Arianna learned to stand again.”
Arianna gradually began walking again, while swimming helped her to regain her strength.
Helen said: “It was a slow journey but we were able to get her swimming before lockdown, which helped enormously.
“Unfortunately that – along with exercise in soft play areas – had to stop because of the pandemic which probably slowed her recovery down.
“However, she worked so hard and we took her for lots of walks to get her legs working properly again.
“It was a long hard struggle but Arianna was determined, just like the little diva she is.
“She is a very happy and bubbly little girl and worked hard to recover.”
At the same time, the family started to discuss fundraising to help others.
Helen continued: “We wanted to do something, but we knew we would need to wait for Arianna to recover further.
‘She wanted to make other people happy’
“Arianna herself was really keen and after some chat she decided she would like to do a sponsored walk to ‘make other people happy’.”
The family – including dad Fraser and eight-year-old brother Alexander – walked more than 40 miles in July.
Money raised is going to the children’s hospital at Ninewells, where Arianna spent much of her time.
Helen said: “Arianna was in intensive care there quite a lot and she wanted to raise money for toys for children who are there.
“She knows she will possibly also have to go back there herself, and even discussed that one day she might be able to play with the toys she raised money for.”
The family completed half of their walk on holiday in north Wales and completed the distance when they returned home.
So far they have collected more than £500 – but hope the figure may go higher.
Helen added: “We are so grateful to everyone who has donated and we are so proud of Arianna for what she has managed to achieve.”