Brave little Panagiotis Rafail finally stands on his feet (VIDEO)



Brave little Panagiotis Rafail Glossiotis, the toddler from Chalkida, who has touched the hearts of Greeks worldwide after it became known that he is suffering from a rare life-threatening condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), is progressing very well post-surgery and is now standing on his feet.

Greeks raised millions of euros in donations in order for the 20-month-old to fly to the United States with his parents in order to undergo experimental therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, in Massachusetts.

Around four million euros were raised in a matter of days in October 2019, when it was made known that Greece’s National Health Service (ESY) was not able to not cover the expenses for his treatment in the US since the breakthrough therapy offered in Boston was only in the experimental stage.

*Little Panagiotis Rafail with his parents (Image from Gine Iroas Tou Panagioti Facebook page)

Spinal Muscle Atrophy is a rare, degenerative and until recently terminal disease affecting the entire musculoskeletal system, including swallowing and breathing. Type I is the most serious with a life expectancy of 2 years without treatment and it was imperative Panagiotis have this treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital prior to being 24 months of age.

Publicising the little boy's battle fuelled a huge wave of solidarity in Greece as well as across borders, including fundraising events being held in the US, Australia and beyond, as the toddler’s condition was shared thousands of times on social media.

“Panagiotakis is standing on his feet. It is incredible! We really didn't expect it to happen so quickly. We thank the whole world for allowing this miracle, for Panagiotakis to stand on his own feet," said Panagiotis’ mother.

The overjoyed parents of the little boy also shared a video of Panagiotis standing up.

“It’s been a while since we have shared our child’s progress with you as every day is busy with Panagiotis undergoing exams and physiotherapy. We are more than excited and we wanted to share this news with you because thanks to you we did it."

"We know we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do but we have the patience and strength and that is thanks to our little boy and all of you! Thank you wholeheartedly,"  announced Panagiotis' parents.

*Watch the video here-