WHEN little Charlotte Nott watched the Paralympics last summer she imagined she could be there one day.
Now the five-year-old – who lost the lower part of her arms and legs after contracting meningitis as a baby – is a step closer to her dream as she is trialling a pair of specially-made blades.
And her family are fully behind her, with dad Alex Nott placing a £50 bet on her winning a gold medal at the Paralympics when she is older. He will bag £3.25m if she wins.
Her mum Jenny Daniels, 31, of Brasenose Driftway, Cowley, said: “We were inspired by watching the Paralympics and Charlotte was very interested to watch it.
“Her dad has had a bet on that she is going to get a gold medal when she is older.
“But Charlotte says she wants to get a silver medal because she prefers silver to gold.”
Mr Nott, 31, said: “I did it ages ago just for a laugh really. But then you saw her on her blades for the first time and it is very rare for someone to get on and run about as quickly as that.
“She didn’t half move. She actually looks like an athlete.
“She has been given even more mobility and more freedom to do what the other kids do. “She is having a workout without her knowing. It is going to keep her fit.” The blades were given to Charlotte by Hampshire-based Dorset Orthopaedic, the same company that made her walking legs, free of charge as a trial.
Ms Daniels said: “She is really excited. She had a fitting the week before and obviously wanted to take them home, but had to wait another week.
“Within minutes of her having them on she was trying to run in them. “She ran across the room to her dad. It was really lovely for us to see, but at the same time it can be difficult for us because we have to have the money to be able to buy these things.”
Ms Daniels estimates the blades will only last three months as Charlotte continues to grow.
Another pair will cost £8,500, but should last between nine and 12 months.
Charlotte received her £6,000 pink glittery walking legs in time for Christmas last year, after they were paid for by Mike Whelan, of Banbury-based broadcast specialist Digital Garage.
Ms Daniels said: “Her life has been really transformed by her legs; it has just been amazing because she has these specially made legs and they are so comfortable.
“But Charlotte wants to live her life to the full, she wants to do everything her friends can do.
“If she sees her friends running around, she wants to do that too. She will be able to enjoy herself more and be included in more activities.”
Charlotte is also continuing to have weekly swimming lessons at Ferry Pool in Summertown, winning a level three for swimming 10m unaided.
Ms Daniels added: “She was very active before her illness and she is active now.”
Charlotte's family continue to fundraise for new legs as she grows taller.
- For more information on their fundraising appeal, visit charlottesappeal.com