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Meningitis charity holds first ever Childhood Amputee Day at Alder Hey!

Paralympian wheelchair rugby player Aaron Phipps and Linda Roberts, mother of Gold Paralympian medal winner Jonnie Peacock, will be meeting children who have lost limbs as a result of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia at Meningitis Research Foundation’s first ever childhood amputee day.

The charity is hosting the event, in conjunction with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust on Friday 31 May, with 18 families from across the UK. Everton FC’s Community team will be providing activities for the children whilst parents will share inspirational stories, hear presentations from a panel of experts and ask questions on a range of amputee related topics from the management of scarring to effects on bone growth and the types of prosthetics available on the NHS.

Vicky Travers from Merseyside will be attending the day with her daughter Amber who contracted meningococcal septicaemia in November 2010 when she was two. The disease spread so rapidly doctors had to take drastic action to save her life. Amber had her left arm amputated at the shoulder and her right arm removed above the wrist. She also lost her right leg above the knee and the left leg below the knee.

Vicky said: “We are really looking forward to the event because Amber has only ever seen pictures of other children with amputations but never actually came face to face with children the same as her. It will also be really nice for me to be able to sit and talk to other families who have gone through the same terrible experiences as us.”

Shirley Gieron, Head of Membership and Support at Meningitis Research Foundation said: “ We have organised our Amputees’ Day to help families to feel informed and positive about the future. We hope that this will be a fun day for the children and that they will make some new friends. Meanwhile their parents can add to their knowledge about amputations by talking to the professionals and meeting other families who know what they have been through.”

Sian Falder, Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon at Alder Hey Hospital said: “We were delighted to work with the Meningitis Research Foundation to help them organise this day for their members and have recommended some of our own families to come along. It can be very helpful for patients and parents to share their experiences of this terrible disease and to be able to talk to professionals about their concerns in an informal setting. We are really looking forward to it.”
The event is sponsored by the following organisations: Novartis Diagnostic and Vaccines, Dorset Orthopaedics, Ossur, Ottobock and RSL Steeper.

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