Adorable toddler ravaged by meningitis takes first steps thanks to new prosthetics
An adorable toddler who lost a leg and both his hands to meningitis has finally taken his first steps thanks to his new prosthetics.
Taylor Marshall, from Nottingham, was struck down with a deadly form of meningitis – Meningococcal Septicaemia type w – last April.
His devastated mum, Terri Lewsley, 23, watched helplessly as doctors gave Taylor just hours to live and was told her to say her final goodbyes.
But despite being in a coma for 17 days, Taylor continued to fight for life – and thankfully he won.
Taylor, who is now 20 months, needed his left leg and all eight fingers, two thumbs and toes removed after they turned black – yet that hasn’t stopped the toddler from taking his first steps with his new prosthetics.
Proud Terri, a former inventory clerk, said: “Looking at Taylor now standing on his prosthetic left leg and right leg splint is amazing.
“He has managed to take a few steps too which is incredible after we came so close to losing him last year.
“It was the worst day of my life when doctors prepared us to say our goodbyes, his legs were black and he was hooked up to every machine possible.
“I just prayed he would pull through and after surgeons amputated his left leg, toes, and fingers on both hands, he started to improve and smile again.
“Since that day he hasn’t stopped smiling and after being in hospital for over seven months, we finally got discharged five months ago and we were given his prosthetics four weeks later.
“But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that he was able to stand and take those first few steps after gaining his balance.
“I was so happy I could have cried when he stood up for the first time, Taylor is the biggest fighter I have ever known, he’s amazing.”
Taylor first fell ill on April 20 2015, he had been put to bed as normal but in the early hours of the morning Terri noticed he had a temperature.
She said: “He was boiling hot but was shivering as though he was cold, after dialling NHS Direct with his symptoms, I was told to call an ambulance.
“But after going to hospital Taylor seemed to perk up and we were sent home, at first I was relieved but this was short lived.
“What happened next was just the start of our nightmare, once back home he went downhill and wouldn’t eat or drink.
“When back in hospital his limbs started to turn black as his whole body began shutting down, it was terrifying.
“It was the biggest relief of my life when he started to improve, even though it had left him with life changing damage to his legs and hands.
“I knew he would need his left leg amputated along with his toes on his right foot and fingers but all I cared about was him surviving.
“Now he’s taking a few steps and standing for the first time, it’s a huge milestone after seven and a half months in hospital recovering.
“Not only that, he will be starting nursery in September, showing how he’ll never let his disabilities hold him back.
“He was always such a happy, smiling baby before he was diagnosed and that hasn’t changed.
“Taylor has amazed doctors with his fighting spirit and although he’ll need operations on his scar tissue for most of his life, I know he’ll manage just fine.”
Terri and her devoted family and friends have been fundraising for Taylor ever since his diagnosis.
She said: “My friends and family have been amazing and I couldn’t thank those who have donated to Taylor.
“We want to ensure he receives the best care and prosthetics throughout his life so he can achieve everything he wants to in the future.”
Terri has been supported throughout her journey by charity Meningitis Now.
Liz Brown, chief executive of Meningitis Now said: “It’s really heart-warming to see Taylor and his family coping so well with the life-changing after-effects of meningitis and getting on with their lives in such a positive and fulfilling way.
“He’s certainly an inspirational little fellow and we’re delighted that he’s taking his first steps and making such good progress – his family are right to be proud of him. He’s a brave boy.
“Meningitis is a devastating disease which can turn lives upside down. Taylor will need ongoing care but, with the right support, meningitis need not ruin his future and I know the family is determined it won’t.”
To donate to help Taylor and his family visit: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/TerriLewsley?utm_id=65