Boy born bent in half now models for Tommy Hilfiger while using a wheelchair
Colton Robinson, from New England in Massachusetts, was born bent in half thanks to one of the most severe spina bifida cases his doctor had seen.
Now, at just eight years old, hes a model, using a wheelchair to go down the runway at New York Fashion Week and appearing in campaigns for Tommy Hilfigers new collection.
When Colton was born, his legs were arched up towards his head. His spine protruded from his back.
He underwent surgery to repair his back when he was under a day old, then six months later needed an operation to drain fluid from his brain. To straighten his legs and feet Colton has regularly been put in casts.
Coltons mum, Ashley, explains: We were called into a room and told that Colton had spina bifida, at first I was completely devastated not know what would happen to my child.
The internet is a scary place, so when you google you only hear the worst-case scenarios, I remember feeling lost and not sure what to do.
I remember them showing us a picture and saying it was one of the worst cases they had seen in a long time.
The way the spine was sticking out and the protection bubble on his back, it looked like a huge jellyfish because it was so large.
We didnt get to hold him until he was over a week old, after being born he was in NICU for two weeks, it was the hardest thing.
Recently Colton has needed another cast placed on his feet for ten weeks to stop them from turning outwards – which made using his wheelchair difficult.
But Colton hasnt let any of this hold him back.
When he was born his legs were hyperextended to his face, it was like he was bent in half but after surgery and a series of casts that was fixed in the first couple of years of his life, says Ashley.
Hes very independent now and if he needs to grab something he will reach out of his chair to get it all by himself and doesnt get upset about being unable to walk.
Around the house he will crawl too, so he is not always in his wheelchair, often dragging his casts around and at school he races around in his wheelchair.
In 2013 Coltons talent for modeling was spotted, after he was picked for a fundraising photo-op for Shriners Childrens Hospital in 2013.
A year later he was was shortlisted for a cutest kid contest in a parenting magazine, and a year after that he was asked to do a runway show during a hockey match in Philadelphia.
He was a little nervous at first, but it just made his face light up, remembers Ashley.
You dont see many kids in wheelchairs or with disabilities in magazines or TV, so Im proud of him.
Colton later took part in New York Fashion Week with Runway of Dreams, even doing wheelies on the catwalk, and now appears in Tommy Hilfigers new campaign for their adaptive collection.
I always ask him ahead of time if he wants to do modelling jobs and 100% of the time its yes, he tells me he likes it because it makes him feel good about himself, says Ashley.
He loves it, he has such a big personality and is very secure about himself, which is great that he doesnt see limitations for himself.
Colton has to overcome a lot of hurdles being a child in a wheelchair, but in this sense, he does something other children dont have an opportunity to do, so feels really good about that.
He was only seven-years-old when he did New York Fashion Week, to go out there on the runway in front of all these people and cameras was incredible, he rocked it and did so well.
I had tears in my eyes, it was an amazing moment seeing him out there and so proud of himself, it took a lot for him to do that.
He has been asked to do numerous runways from New York Fashion Week to others, we try our hardest to do everything we can.
Then he was asked to do spring and summer shoots for the Tommy Hilfiger Runway of dreams adaptive collection last year, it was a great experience and he loved every single second of it.
On the NYFW runway last year, they had a narrow walkway for the kids catwalk, it was high off the ground, other kids were scared but Colton went right around and even did a wheelie.
People were so impressed by him and loved that he doesnt lack confidence, hes starting to realise he can do anything.
I tell him the same thing Ive told him since he was little: that he can do anything any other child can.