A TEENAGER who was left paralysed after his spinal cord "turned to mush" could have his dreams of walking again realised - thanks to a robotic suit.

Mark Sweeney, 18, has undergone 125 brain and spinal surgeries and became paralysed six years ago during an operation to reduce a cyst on his spine.

At just 12-years-old Mark was left "devastated" at the thought of never being able to walk again and thought his dream of becoming an actor had been crushed.

But now the teenager from Motherwell is trying to raise £80,000 to buy a bionic suit which would help him walk again.

If successful, Mark will become the first person in Scotland to have the life-changing equipment.

The ReWalk suit, which is manufactured in Birmingham, is a wearable robotic suit that provides powered hip and knee motion.

The powered armour enables people with spinal cord injuries to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb up and down stairs.

Mark, who has a form of Spina Bifida - among a variety of other spinal conditions - has always dreamed of being an actor.

He is currently studying IT at Motherwell college but hopes getting the suit will help him on his way to becoming an actor.

His mum Margaret, 41, who cares for Mark full time said: "Mark has had a really bad health history his whole life.

"He was born with a number of underlying conditions which were not uncovered until he was two-years-old then they began doing corrective surgeries.

"It was during surgery for his arachnoid cyst that he became paralysed.

"They were trying to reduce the size of it, which they had done many times before with no problems.

"Then out of the blue, this one just turned his spinal cord to mush after it went gangrenous."

Margaret said Mark was "devastated" after becoming paralysed at such a young age, and has since struggled with coming to terms with it.

She added: "He was really depressed about it, and he can still get upset about it now, but he tries to stay upbeat.

"Raising the money to get this suit would be life-changing for Mark.

"He has bee trying to become a young disabled actor, and spent a week at the BBC studios in London recently."

And in May, Mark had the chance the tryout one of the ReWalk suits in Birmingham for the first time.

The family began fundraising in April and already have almost £7,000. But Margaret says it's nowhere near what they need.

She added: "Seeing Mark walk for the first time was amazing.

"Sometimes people who get them can't walk in the right away but Mark just got up and walked for the first time in six years - it was beautiful. I was crying.

"He was smiling from ear to ear, and it became so obvious how desperately he needs this suit.

"We are finding it so difficult - but I'm trying my best to do everything I can to get Mark the suit."