Shoe delivery delay prevents boy with rare growth condition from going to school

PIC: Andrew Bellis
PIC: Andrew Bellis
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A six-year-old boy with a rare growth condition has been unable to go to school for weeks because of a delay getting his specially-made shoes from Portugal.

Brave Spencer Kristianson, who has a disorder which causes his feet to grow abnormally, only got his new shoes yesterday after waiting since the end of August.

Spencer, of Elmete Road, Castleford, has Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS), a rare disorder which affects just one in every 100,000 people.

He needs specially-made footwear, but mum Amber Kristianson, 26, said there is usually a string of delays in Spencer’s shoes arriving after he is assessed at Pontefract Hospital twice a year.

He also only gets two pairs of shoes a year and often wears them out before getting his new ones, leaving him unable to attend school.

Miss Kristianson said: “It is really affecting him now. He absolutely adores school. He’s started playing rugby and he’s a really active lad.

“Year after year, this is leaving him with no shoes. He’s missing his friends. It’s a massive break in his routine. It’s huge to him. The school are understanding about it and let him take work home.”

Spencer, who attends Oyster Park Primary School, last had his feet measured on August 24. Miss Kristianson said the shoes would cost at least £300 if the family paid for them privately.

She said: “They ask me to be understanding but I’m the one with a kid with no shoes.”

Yesterday, the private company which provides orthotic services - the provision of special footwear and other physical aids - at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said Spencer’s shoes had arrived.

Alex Callaghan, clinical services manager at the Steeper Group, said yesterday: “The shoes Spencer’s family requested were from a Portugal-based supplier who unfortunately close their premises throughout the month of August.

“Spencer’s shoes have arrived and I will be delivering these personally myself.

“Moving forwards we will be looking into an alternative UK based supplier.”

Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome affects the development of blood vessels, soft tissues, and bones.

It also causes red birthmarks known as port-wine stains.

The cause the ultra-rare disorder, which is present at birth, is unknown.

People with the KTS are sometimes referred for surgery on their limbs or laser treatment for skin problems.

There is no cure for KTS but many individuals can live well while managing their symptoms.