A CHILD’S first day of school is among the proudest moments in any parent’s life.
But for Jenny Daniels, waving daughter Charlotte Nott through the gates of her new school was all the more poignant, because two years ago the little girl’s life was hanging in the balance.
The four-year-old, from Brasenose Driftway, had the lower sections of her arms and legs amputated in 2010 after contracting an aggressive form of meningitis.
Doctors fought hard to save her, but told parents Jenny and Alex Nott to prepare for the worst.
Two years later though, and thanks to the care of experts at the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, the little girl is fighting fit and was able to enjoy the day her family thought might never be possible.
Ms Daniels said it was an exceptionally proud moment watching Charlotte go to the Horspath School in her new uniform.
She said: “She was so happy and excited, just like any other child. I can’t really put into words how it felt.
“If I think too much about what could have happened, and the what ifs, I would be physically ill. You can’t really think like that.
“I just think about the here and now and the fact she’s going to school. It’s such a proud moment, we’re really excited.
“We’re so happy she is with all of her friends and that she is going to get the same education and opportunities as every other child.
“The school has been wonderful in coming up with ideas on how Charlotte can be involved.”
When Charlotte was struck down with meningitis, her plight moved hundreds of people to help through sponsored runs, charity sales and abseils.
Ms Daniels and Mr Nott have since set up the Charlotte Fund, which will be used to try and make their little girl’s life as normal as possible.
Charlotte unwound from her first day at school by eating an ice lolly and watching television with little brother George, two. She also has a baby sister Libby, eight months old. Charlotte said: “I loved my first day. I painted and played with dolls and I played with sticking stuff. I really loved going outside, and I cycled on the bike.
“I made lots of new friends.”
Headteacher Emma Coleman said: “We’ve been working hard over the summer to make sure everything is ready for Charlotte and for our other new pupils.
“Charlotte has been a regular visitor so all of the children in our school have been very excited about welcoming her.
“She had a wonderful first school playtime, playing hide and seek with some new friends”
l If you would like to donate to Charlotte’s fund