The hope and anticipation felt by Holly Greenhow and her family when their flight touched down in Los Angeles was tempered by not a little trepidation.
It was, they were all acutely aware, a leap into the unknown.
Holly, 11, who captured the nation’s hearts three years ago when she starred in a Boden modelling campaign, has cerebral palsy and has been severely physically disabled since birth. She could neither walk nor talk and it seemed that was how it would always be.
Then, last year, came a flicker of hope. Having been told of a clinic in California offering pioneering stem cell treatment that had produced extraordinary results with stroke victims and cases similar to Holly’s, the Greenhow family boarded a plane in October.
There was a possibility, they were told, that some of the damage to Holly’s brain could be repaired, perhaps even enabling her to walk and talk one day.