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Charlotte's in the pink
Buy this photo » Charlotte Nott opens some of her birthday presents with her father Alex
ANY little girl would be excited at the prospect of presents and cake.
But for Charlotte Nott the best thing of all about her fifth birthday was celebrating it with her friends.
It was only two years ago that the Oxford schoolgirl was struck down by an aggressive form of meningitis, leaving her fighting for her life.
Because of the disease she had the lower parts of her arms and legs amputated in 2010. Now she is celebrating a milestone that might have never been possible had it not been for Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
Charlotte’s mother Jenny Daniels said: “She was really excited about her birthday and she was counting down.
“She has got a lovely school and she has got a lovely group of friends – they’re very supportive of Charlotte and she talks really fondly about her friends, so she was looking forward to seeing them.”
Charlotte, from Cowley, who started at Horspath Primary School last September, enjoyed a surprise party at Oxford’s Build-A-Bear with her friends on Saturday. Her actual birthday was yesterday and she celebrated it with her family.
Her presents included her own pink princess Build-A-Bear, and a wheelchair for it.
Ms Daniels and Charlotte’s father Alex Nott have two other children, George, three, and Libby, one. She added: “The five years have gone really quickly. We’re glad that everything is going well now.
“She’s doing really well with her recovery – but it has taken about two years really. People don’t realise it takes that long.
“She has been through operations, infections and more medicine, so we’re just hoping now that she has turned five she can continue that recovery and go from strength to strength.”
Charlotte uses specially-made glittery pink prosthetic legs to walk,which were given to her just before Christmas.
An anonymous donor helped to pay for the £6,000 limbs, which were made to measure, but as she grows, they will need to be replaced.
Ms Daniels said: “What has really made the difference is the legs she’s wearing. That has really given her independence. They’re specially made and it’s a lot of money. That’s why we’re continuing to fundraise.”
Charlotte has also begun swimming lessons. Ms Daniels said: “She absolutely loves it. We’re hoping that will give her some confidence and she might be in the Paralympics when she’s older.”
Parents want all children to get new vaccine
JENNY Daniels and Alex Nott are backing a campaign calling on the Government to make a new vaccine against Meningitis B available to all children.
The drug, Bexsero, is the first such vaccine licensed for use in the UK and the charity Meningitis UK wants it to become a routine childhood immunisation.
Charlotte contracted meningitis in December 2010, which resulted in the loss of the lower part of all four limbs.
Ms Daniels said: “Meningitis is a shocking and traumatic disease, which is sudden and hard to detect.
“No matter how much awareness there is about it, it’s so difficult to diagnose until it’s at a very serious stage.”
She added: “It’s essential the vaccine is available to save lives and stop people having to live with terrible lifelong after-effects.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is due to decide whether the new vaccine should be part of the immunisation schedule, and what age groups should receive it, this summer.