BRAUNTON youngster George Palmer is pictured sitting himself up for the first time just days after a life-changing operation in America. Cerebral palsy sufferer George, 5, underwent selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery on Tuesday week to give him the chance of being able to walk for the first time. Parents Nicki and Gary say the youngster is making fantastic progress following the five-hour operation at the St Louis Childrens Hospital, in Missouri. Mum Nicki told the Gazette: Georges surgery went so well but it was a long tearful day. He had a really rough day and night on Wednesday; you can never be prepared for the exhaustion and emotions that you feel during that time. The one thing that has just amazed us from the minute George woke up is how soft and supple his feet and legs are. Before surgery they were so stiff it was like moving planks of wood. George has now been discharged from hospital and has started three weeks of therapy. After his first session, he was able to stand with flat feet and straight legs for the first time ever and was able to try high kneeling, walking on his knees and a little assisted walking. We have noticed already that his left arm is more supple and he can open and close his left hand unlike before, plus his balance has already become better, said Nicki. Following an assessment on Monday, George is also due to have a heel chord and hamstring lengthening surgery to improve his standing positioning. Nicki added: We are so, so proud of George, he never complains. He gets a little tearful at times as he is a little unsure of what the doctors are going to do to him, but he still has that cheeky smile and great sense of humour. He is being fantastic and we love him so, so much.