A brave toddler who lost both arms and legs to meningitis shortly after starting to walk has smiled for the first time since having her limbs amputated.
Harmonie-Rose Allen was struck down with the killer bug just ten days after taking her first faltering steps in September this year.
Doctors told her worried parents, Freya Hall and Ross Allen, that it was one of the worst cases of the virus they had even seen and warned she may not pull through.
Despite having just a ten per cent chance of survival, Harmonie, from Bath, Somerset, has proved doctors wrong by fighting off the illness.
The brave tot has lost all four limbs, the tip of her nose and could suffer with long term vision and motorskills problems.
But despite this the toddler – who has just reached her first birthday – has finally got her smile back and is on her way to recovery.
Her mother Freya, 20, said: “She has such a strong character and its beginning to come back now, she knows what she wants. She has got her smile back.
“Ross and I are extremely proud of Harmonie, she has come so far and fought so hard to be here with us.
“We will make her life as amazing fulfilling as we can. She’s our perfect little princess and she will always be perfect.
“To be told that she had 10 percent chance of survival and to be here now is incredible and means so much to us how hard she’s fought.
“I don’t know what I would do without her.”
Harmonie-Rose’s parents first noticed something was wrong on Saturday September 27, when she woke up in the night coughing and unable to breathe.
They took her to the Royal United Hospital in Bath but doctors could not find anything seriously wrong and she was sent home.
But the next morning Harmonie-Rose turned blue and they took her back to the same hospital.
Following a thorough assessment they were told it was just a virus and were again sent home.
But hours later Harmonie-Rose became floppy and lethargic and they rushed back to the hospital, where a rash was spotted.
Within four hours, the tot’s body had been taken over with the purple rash, leaving her parents lost for words.
Freya, a full-time mum, added: “She had a cold for about a week before we took her to the hospital but she was also teething.
“She was still happy and playing right up until we took her to the hospital the second time.
“We saw the spot on her nose and it did not go away, the nurse acted very fast and within seconds her room was filled with doctors and nurses.
“Every time we looked at Harmonie she was becoming covered with more purple like bruises.
“Harmonie was then taken to adult intensive care and we did not hear from them until about four hours later.
“When we walked in to see Harmonie I could have fainted. She was asleep and was more covered in the rash than before, this was when we realised it was really severe.
“The doctors told us she would lose the tip of her nose and that was only if she survived.
“He told us he was very worried about our little girl and that she may not survive, my whole life was turned upside down within a second I was so angry and upset.
“The rash was literally covering her from head to toe, it was purple and a dark purple.
“Gradually the whole of her arms and legs were purple; they weren’t just dots anymore, they had changed the colour of Harmonie’s skin.”
Harmonie-Rose has undergone more than 10 operations and is now out of immediate danger, but her mother says she still faces a number of challenges on her road to recovery.
Since the youngster’s diagnosis, friends, family and members of the public have been raising funds to help Harmonie.
To date the Help4Harmonie appeal has raised more than #60,000, which will be used for rehabilitation, hydrotherapy and home adaptations.
Freya added: “Hope4Harmonie have just hit the 60,000 mark and it’s incredible. Thanks to our families who started it.
“The support has really helped and it’s overwhelming. People from all over the world are supporting Hope4Harmonie.
“Life will never be easy for Harmonie but knowing we have this kind of support fills me with warmth that Harmonie will lead as normal life as possible.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the cause should visit www.justgiving.com/hope4harmonie.
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