A TINY tot who miraculously survived meningitis has taken his first steps – one year on from losing his leg and both his hands to the deadly infection, The Sun reports. Taylor Marshall, of Nottingham, was given just hours to live when he was struck down by Meningococcal Septicaemia type W last April.
He spent 17 days in a coma and needed his left leg and all eight fingers, two thumbs and toes removed after they turned black. But now little Taylor, who is 20 months old, has managed to walk for the very first time thanks to his new prosthetics. His proud mum Terri Lewsley, 23, 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.” Terri says her little boy hasn’t stopped smiling – despite being in hospital for over seven months.
The tot was finally discharged five months ago and his prosthetics were delivered four weeks later. She said: “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, when he woke in the early hours of the morning with a temperature. What happened next was every parent’s worst nightmare when Taylor’s limbs started to turn black as his whole body shut down.
Terri said: “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.” She added: “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.”
Taylor’s devoted family and friends have been fundraising for the tot ever since his diagnosis so they can pay for the best care and prosthetics throughout his life. 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.”