Lucas is a four-year-old boy who has difficulty walking. As a baby, his motor and language skills developed slowly and he found even ordinary things, such as sitting, hard to do.

However, Lucas did not give up in the face of the challenges placed in front of him. Even though his weak bones and muscles continue to impair his dexterity, coordination, balance and speed, together with his physiotherapist Christa Leonfellner, the two are slowly building Lucas’s ability to stand on his own two feet.

One activity in particular has done wonders for the boy’s self-esteem – riding his favourite horse Johnny. The activity requires the boy to perform specific movements which help tilt Lucas’s pelvis forward without putting pressure on his legs.

When going to therapy, Lucas is often accompanied by his mother, older sister and younger brother for support. His family always encourages him and gives him the secure environment he needs to achieve progress. His mother noted that “Lucas has blossomed since Christa started working with him“, adding that “this year he managed to walk on his own for the first time“, which she described as “one of the happiest moments” in her life.

Lucas’s is the story of one of the many children Diakonie in Austria helps through their Therapy Center. When asked about what is the best approach to make young patients forget the hardships and remain motivated, Dr. Leonfellner has no doubts: “Therapy should be fun, so that children stick with it.”


To find out more about Diakonie Österreich’s work and how you can contribute, please visit their website.