For a boy who doctors thought would never walk, never talk, or never know his own parents, George Palmer certainly knows how to welcome guests to his Braunton home.Its a Wednesday afternoon and like many eight-year-olds, the Kingsacre School pupil is unwinding by watching some of his favourite television shows. But when the Gazette knocks on the front door, he greets our reporter with a huge smile and a giant hug. Three-and-a-half years after life-changing spinal surgery in America, George, who has cerebral palsy, is continuing to enjoy life in a way his parents Nicki and Gary thought hed never be able to. Walking, talking, reading and writing swimming, horse riding and even surfing. Its not been easy; there have been huge set-backs since his parents raised £55,000 for the operation in Missouri in 2012. They suffered a heart-breaking 2015, when two years of progress were interrupted by a dislocated hip. But mum Nicki said George was now back on track. She said: He had done so well prior to that it was heart-breaking. Seeing him walk into his own classroom was amazing but after his hip popped out, some of the wonderful muscles hed been building up started to waste away. All children with cerebral palsy have under-developed hip sockets, but we had hoped that his hips would stabilise post-SDR surgery. George was in a full cast for five weeks following the operation last May. He was an absolute angel he didnt complain at all, said Nicki. We didnt really know what impact it would have on him but hes actually doing remarkably well. Its been a tricky year, but George is starting to walk again so hes well on track. The biggest thing for me is how sociable he is; hes a typical eight-year-old with his own mind. Hes good fun and we wouldnt change him for anything.