‘My son has no shoes and can’t go to school’

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A six-year-old boy with a rare growth condition has been unable to go to school for weeks because of a delay getting his specially-made shoes from Portugal.

Brave Spencer Kristianson, who has a disorder which causes his feet to grow at different sizes, only got his new shoes yesterday after waiting since the end of August.

Spencer, of Elmete Road, Castleford, has Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS), rare disorder which affects just one in every 100,000 people and has caused his feet to grow at different sizes.

He needs specially-made footwear, but mum Amber Kristianson, 26, said there had been a string of delays in Spencer’s shoes arriving after he is assessed at Pontefract Hospital twice a year.

He also only gets two pairs a year and often wears them out before getting his new ones, leaving him unable to attend school.

Miss Kristianson said: “It is really affecting him now. He absolutely adores school. He’s started playing rugby and he’s a really active lad.

“Year after year, this is leaving him with no shoes. He’s missing his friends.

“It’s a massive break in his routine. It’s huge to him.

“The school are understanding about it and let him take work home.”

Spencer, who attends Oyster Park Primary School, last had his feet measured on August 24.

Miss Kristianson said the shoes would cost at least £300 if the family paid for them privately.

She said: “His shoes are worn out. They ask me to be understanding but I’m the one with a kid with no shoes.”

Yesterday, the private company which provides orthotic services - the provision of special footwear and other physical aids - at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said Spencer’s shoes had arrived.

Alex Callaghan, clinical services manager at the Steeper Group, said yesterday: “The shoes Spencer’s family requested at the end of August were from a Portugal-based supplier who unfortunately close their premises throughout the month of August.

“The family’s order was added to a long list of other orders ready to be produced once the manufacturer re-opened in September.

“Delays such as these, experienced by Spencer and his family for specialist orthotic items are common for both UK and European health care providers who use the same supplier.

“Spencer’s shoes have arrived today and I will be delivering these personally myself this evening.”

“Moving forwards we will be looking into an alternative UK based supplier.”