A nine-year-old girl who was warned she would never walk after she fell into a scalding bath as a baby has taken her first steps – after having her leg AMPUTATED.
Brave Tilly Sawford was given just a five per cent chance of survival after suffering 86 per cent burns when she was just 15-months-old.
Her devastated parents Emma, 30, and Kyle, 29, were told she was on the brink of death five times as she was treated in intensive care for six months.
Now aged nine, she has fought through over 500 operations, including having shark cartilage and cow collagen grafted onto her skin.
Incredibly, despite falling head-first into the bath of scalding water, the only place she did not get burned was her face.
But the scars from the third-degree burns are so deep they affect her walking.
Earlier this year doctors at the Queen Medical Centre in Nottingham amputated her right leg and replace it with a prosthetic limb.
And incredibly, two weeks ago she took her first steps unaided – and even played a toy foot-piano.
Proud mum Emma said: “I was a little bit upset at first when the doctors first gave us the news that she needed to have her leg amputated in order to walk again.
“You don’t usually think the best way to walk is to have your leg cut off but that was the reality we were faced with.
“The doctors explained it was the best option for Tilly and it has proved it so far.
“She took a while to get used to her ‘robot leg’ and said she wanted to be able to chase people around.
“When Tilly took her first few steps it was an enormous moment. Up to then she’d put her hand against the hospital rail or wall for support but then she just stood on her own.
“She had a huge grin on her face and looked so determined. It was an amazing moment and we just hope this is the start of things to come.”
Tilly had her knee cap removed on September 28 last year before having her leg completely amputated on January 4 this year.
She received the prosthetic limb in June but walked on her own for the first time in her life on October 14.
Tilly, who has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award, said: “It was fun standing on my own. I can’t wait to walk some more.
“My dream is to run and play tag with my friends in the playground.”
Tilly suffered horrific injuries on March 8, 2009, after her brother accidentally turned the hot tap on while she climbed on a beanbag which was next to the bath.
Because of a fault with the boiler, the water was scalding after a few seconds – moments before Tilly tumbled into the half-full bath in the family home.
Emma, who has four other children, Toby, 12, Kaden, ten, Elise, six, and two-year-old Daisy-May, said: “I heard a scream and ran back upstairs. Tilly was in the bath tub.
“She must have leaned over and fallen in.
“Her eyes rolled back and she went unconscious with the pain.
“I picked her up straight away and pulled the plug out. Her skin was coming off in my hands.
“I think I started to go into shock, I couldn’t speak properly, it was awful.
“Tilly was only in the water for seconds but it was enough to cause her to pass out with the pain.
“On the night we went to hospital doctors turned round to us and said she wouldn’t make it through the next few hours.
“It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me, my world started to fall apart. I genuinely thought I’d lost my daughter.”
Her family have been told she might need to have her left leg amputated in the future if it grows in the wrong way.
Emma added: “We are keeping our fingers crossed about her other leg.
“The doctors say she might have to lose it in the future if it grows in the wrong way.
“They are holding off doing anything at the moment and we are literally taking one step at a time.
“We are just so happy to see Tilly take her first steps. She is a very determined girl and we are so proud of her achievements.”
Andrea Cronshaw, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Burns and Plastics at Queen Medical Centre, said: “Tilly has received specialised burns care in Nottingham and has undergone several hundred operations to enable her to achieve her full potential.
“We are extremely proud that she’s been put forward for the Pride of Britain awards, as this is a well-deserved recognition of her hard work and progress.
“She is a brave and courageous little girl who never complains and has a very positive attitude to her ongoing and relentless treatment.”