A four-year-old boy who lost both legs to meningitis ‘whooped’ with delight as he cycled for the first time after fundraisers bought him a prosthetic trike.
Little Archie Barton had both legs, several fingers and the tip of his nose amputated after being struck down with meningitis and severe septicaemia aged 18 months.
But brave Archie battled against his disabilities and learned to walk on ‘shortie’ practice prosthetic legs.
He has now ridden a bicycle for the first time after being given a custom-built trike, which allows his longer prosthetic legs to be strapped onto the pedals.
Archie’s mum Nicky Barton, 44, revealed yesterday that watching her son learn how to cycle was ”fantastic”.
Nicky, from St Budeaux, Devon, said: ”When he first got the bike he found the motion of his legs going round and round a bit strange.
”But he loves riding it and it’s fantastic to watch him go. He chose his favourite colour red to match his prosthetic legs.
”I feel very humbled at how kind and generous people have been even during a recession. It’s incredible. He would not be where he is today without them.
”He’s running, turning round, standing on one leg and chasing the dogs on his shorties. He’s crazy on those, which is fantastic.
”He’s getting more confident on the bigger ones and it’s only a matter of time before he’s walking on them.”
Archie was struck down by the meningitis B virus in June 2008 and underwent a series of amputations and skin graft operations over the next nine months.
He is now close to shedding his practice prosthetic legs after his parents Nicky and Murray, 47, bought him #12,500 high-tech lightweight legs from a private clinic.
Archie’s £2,000 custom-made tricycle was funded by dozens of charity runners who participated in the Plymouth Half Marathon.
He powers the bright red trike, which has a bell and a horn, by wearing his new legs and strapping the trainers attached to the ‘feet’ onto the pedals.
Brave Archie, who visited Dorset yesterday to have a new pair of prosthetic legs fitted, said: ”I can pedal very well. I’m going to get my new legs fitted now.”
Archie has passed out from a special school for children with disabilities and will start at Whitleigh Primary School, Devon, with other children his age in September.
His parents Nicky and Murray started a fundraising and awareness campaign called Archie’s Story in March 2008 to help pay for his care.