Great Bardfield’s mum’s plea to help her daughter walk

Olivia, four, with her mum Debbie Bowyer.

Olivia, four, with her mum Debbie Bowyer. - Credit: Archant

The parents of a four-year-old girl who is barely able to speak or walk are trying to raise thousands of pounds to fund intense physiotherapy which could change her life.

But the Bowyers are facing a race against time – if they cannot find the money in the next few months the treatment may be ineffective.

Olivia Bowyer, of Petches Bridge, Great Bardfield, was diagnosed with global developmental delay at six-months-old and currently has a mental age of 18-months.

The condition has meant she has not developed at the same rate as her peers and she is unable to walk independently or speak clearly.

Her parents Raymond, 49, and Debbie, 40, are trying to raise £5,000 to pay for six months of intense Spider Therapy, at Kids Physio 2 U, in Colchester, which could enable Olivia to take steps on her own, and to fund speech and language therapy.

Her mum Debbie, who also has a 12-year-old son Jack Thwaites, said: “Olivia being able to walk would just change all of our lives. It has been really hard on the family. It has been a bit like grieving as we have had this beautiful little girl but all the normal things you go through have been taken away from us.

“I try not to worry about her future but I often just burst into tears. I worry whether she will ever get married or lead a normal life.”

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Mrs Bowyer added: “We have been told by a professional that if Olivia is not walking independently by five she may never walk because the older she gets the more frightened she will become.

“But I do not want to start this until we have all the money. If we begin the course and we can see improvements then we had to stop, I would be devastated.”

The Broadcast is backing the campaign and a fundraising evening has been arranged by the family to help them reach their £5,000 target.

So far £500 has been raised. The event is at The Bell Inn, Great Bardfield, on Friday, November 28. There will be live music, a BBQ and a raffle.

“The community has come together and given us so much support. Without Great Bardfield none of this would be happening,” Mrs Bowyer added.

To donate to Olivia’s cause visit or text OBOW49 to 70070 with the amount you wish to give.