It was a very special Christmas indeed when 5-year-old Charlotte Nott finally got to ride her first bike!
However, a few years previously the festive season wasn’t so jolly.
In December 2010 Charlotte was rushed to hospital after her mum Jenny noticed some worrying purple marks on her chest.
She was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia, and was soon suffering from multiple organ failure. As she fought to survive, gangrene set in, and the doctors had no choice but to amputate little Charlotte’s arms and legs below the joints.
Mum Jenny was devastated. Even more heart-breaking was the bike at the end of brave Charlotte’s hospital bed.
The mum from Oxford had bought it that November after Charlotte had fallen in love with it, and now she’d never be able to ride it. But not for lack of trying.
‘She did try, she just persevered to cycle like 3 metres,’ explains Jenny. ‘She would just spend an hour trying so hard.’
Charlotte’s courage inspired people to raise £400 for a specially designed tricycle, which she finally received as a Christmas present.
Tearing through the wrapping paper, Charlotte was overjoyed to see the Pashley-made trike sitting there. It even came in pink, her favourite colour.
‘It was really great to be able to give her the bike,’ says Jenny.
Now nothing can stop little Charlotte, and Jenny hopes that the memories of her courage and triumph at this early age will stay with her for life, helping her overcome anything that comes her way.