Special tricycle brings new joy for amputee Charlotte

Oxford Mail: Charlotte, five, on her new tricycle Buy this photo » Charlotte, five, on her new tricycle

IT was the activity she was most looking forward to just weeks before meningitis led to the operation that would change her life.

Now, after three years of searching, amputee Charlotte Nott is finally able to ride a bike.

Her family have just bought the five-year-old a special tricycle that is just the right fit for the Cowley youngster.

She was getting ready to ride an earlier bike they had bought before she contracted the disease in December 2010, resulting in the loss of part of her lower limbs.

Mum Jenny Daniels said: “She had been sitting on this little bike outside trying with every effort, but it wasn’t suitable.

“She has never been able to ride it because the prosthetics don’t go round in a motion.

“Now she is going like a bat out of hell. She has so much energy. She has had a great time.”

The youngster uses prosthetic legs costing up to £6,000 which have to be replaced about every six months.

Her mother said: “They are great for her mobility, but in terms of walking long distances it is hard for her. The bike will be another aid to her independence.”

She said: “We just couldn’t get a bike that we felt really worked for her.”

They found out about the special tricycle during a visit to National Paralympic Day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in September.

Soon they were in touch with bike shop Warlands, in Botley Road, Oxford, which supplied the £400 bike in her favourite colour, pink.

It was bought using a trust fund set up to pay for Charlotte’s ongoing needs.

Charlotte’s big aim is now to ride her bike to Horspath C of E Primary School.

Her mum said: “She just wants to do it.

“We are going to build her up slowly. If I said now ‘cycle to Barton up the by-pass’ she would do it.”

The youngster has had three more operations since September, including one to remove bone from her right leg. This, along with her natural growth, means the prosthetics have to be replaced about every six months.

With other care costs, the youngster – sister to Libby, one, and George, four – needs about £15,000-a-year for the rest of her life.

Fundraising this year has included people taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon and money raised from a match arranged by former Oxford United players.

Charity Limbcare donated a TV and DVD player to the youngster just before Christmas.

Miss Daniels, of Brasenose Driftway in Oxford, 32, said: “It is going well. We have a lot of support, which we are grateful for. It is really so heart-warming for us.

“People are very kind but we do need a lot of money for Charlotte.”

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