We came to Lucks Yard early in 2012 with our daughter Florence. She had had a rough start to life with an operation to connect her oesophagus (TOF) on day four, open heart surgery to repair a VSD and PDA at 7 months and another op to place a feeding button and nissens for an unsafe swallow and severe reflux.

She has Downs Syndrome too which means that with all of this combined she was susceptible to chest infections and her core was shot. The NHS had saved her life but ongoing treatment to keep her away from intensive care was sporadic at best.

When Florence met Tone she was very wary of anyone touching her, especially if they looked ‘medical’, however Tone’s approach was exactly what was needed.

It wasn’t easy at first, and it took a while for trust to build but two years on and Florence happily gets on the bench and let’s Tone work her magic (she still kicks and screams in hospital).

Tone saw that Flo needed a comprehensive treatment and neck relaxing to be at ease. Tone also recommended for Florence to take vitamins. Tone’s vast experience meant that we left that first meeting with a far bigger plan for therapy overall and beyond Tone’ obligations to ensure Florence could begin to thrive.

Florence has had surgery since to her liver which left a 6 inch scar along her belly; again Tone came in directly afterwards and helped her maintain flexibility.

In conjunction with a speech and language therapist Florence is now completely happy to have all of this touched and massaged and is starting to eat.

Previous to this therapy Florence’s mouth was out of bounds. None of this happened overnight and much of it has been parallel with other treatment to ensure that Florence had the absolutely best support and therapy available.

She is thriving now and active in a mainstream pre-school developing with her peers. This would not have been anywhere near as easy as it has been without Lucks Yard’s advice and therapy.

Other members of our support Group (Stepping Stones DS) have also come to see Tone because of the improvements they saw in Florence and they have reaped the benefits too.

The Luck’s Yard charity concessions mean that we can afford to keep the therapy going, and the gift cards mean the grandparents can buy Florence time with Tone and see tangible results rather than toys that disappear behind the sofa! I regularly recommend Lucks Yard to friends, acquaintances and strangers alike because of our fantastic experience and will continue to do so.

James Maw (Florence’s Dad) September 2014