Ocean Little and her walker with Mens' Shed Airlie Beach president Trevor Burns (left) and Don Campbell (right)
Ocean Little and her walker with Mens' Shed Airlie Beach president Trevor Burns (left) and Don Campbell (right) Contributed

Toddler takes first steps thanks to stranger's kind act

EVERY parent anticipates their child's milestones including the day they take their first steps.

But it was the kindness of a stranger that helped Cannonvale toddler Oceana Little stand on her own two feet for the first time.

Oceana, 2, was diagnosed with Global Development Disorder at 15 months, a condition in which children are significantly delayed in their cognitive and physical development.

Oceana's mother, Nadine Little, said she bought her a walker in the hope it would help her progress.

"It was a case of going day by day watching her slowly progress. I got her a walker but she couldn't sit up so she couldn't use it," Mrs Little said.

Oceana had only just started trying to pull herself into a standing position by holding onto furniture a few weeks before her second birthday in February, but by then she had outgrown the walker.

And despite the hard work and support of Mrs Little, husband Geoff Little and son Reef Little, 4, something else was needed to help Oceana take her first real steps.

Mrs Little approached Mens' Shed Airlie Beach Whitsunday to ask if anyone could build a new walker at the suggestion of her mother-in-law, Dot Little.

Jubilee Pocket man Don Campbell took on the project and built a custom walker for Oceana in about four days, complete with a little trolley to carry toys.

He and Mens' Shed Airlie Beach president Trevor Burns gave it to her with a little fluffy toy inside on March 8.


Oceana Little
Oceana Little "loves" her new walker thanks to the efforts of local man Don Campbell. Contributed

Mrs Little said the sight of Oceana using the walker brought her to tears.

"It was a special day when they dropped it off and for her to realise she could hold something that was her height," she said.

"She had the biggest smile on her face after realising she could use it.

"It's one of those things you look forward to, seeing your child walk. It's been a very long road with her."

Mr Campbell said the joy he felt, watching Oceana use the walker, was hard to explain.

"She was standing up and pushing it (the walker) around. It just about put tears in your eyes," he said.

"It was lovely to be able to help a little girl to walk."

The walker is adjustable so when Oceana grows, it will too.

While she isn't walking on her own yet, Mrs Little said the walker has made a big difference.

"She (Oceana) uses it most days. When I give it to her she loves to fill it up with anything and everything. She loves it," she said.

"She's still not walking now. She's getting there, but the walker's helping a lot."