Luke kept complaining that his leg was sore, but we assumed it was just a knock he had picked up. I set off for work whilst my wife Christine took the boys to school. As they arrived at school Christine decided Luke didn’t look too well and took him home. I returned home from work and immediately left again, and I received a call from Christine saying that Luke had taken a turn for the worse that 111 had been called and they were sending an ambulance. On arrival I went into A and E to Luke’s cubical, I was told Luke had suspected meningitis and we were awaiting the Embrace team to arrive to transfer him to Sheffield.
All 4 of his limbs were completely affected, and wasn’t too long before a conversation had to be had about him losing his hands, as his hands were no longer functional and Luke being Luke just as he was going into surgery said……‘Thank you, my wonderful Hands, you served me well’. It wasn’t long before we were having another conversation about him losing his right foot and leg to just below the knee and then after this his left leg and foot as well. As this leg was in a worse condition, the surgeons said they would have to amputate it through the knee joint. To enable Luke to get around without any prosthetic limbs on we had to make the decision of shortening his right leg to match.
All the staff at Sheffield Children’s hospital were superb the care Luke received was second to none but
unfortunately Luke had an open wound on his right arm that was not closing, the surgeons were contemplating further surgery to shorten his arm. His arm started to heal and 19 weeks and a day after being admitted on the 24th of April 2020 Luke was discharged! Back home our house did not adapt well to Luke’s needs. We made the heart-breaking decision to sell the house that we had spent the last 8 years extending and improving. We found and moved into a bungalow which is more suitable for Luke’s needs. Whilst all this was going on Luke went from strength to strength and in the 24 months since leaving hospital has amazed the Doctors, he has achieved from learning to walk, pick up utensils, feed himself, and return to school!! We have been lucky that Luke has received some prosthetic arms from both Koalaa mitt and the charity Remap, Luke also has his new Trekinetic wheelchair. This is an all-terrain chair that suits his needs. We had to battle the local authority to get his NHS funding put towards the cost of this chair, with help from Dr K Thomas at FisherMedical Practice we eventually secured the grant, although the grant barely covered a quarter of the cost of the chair, we felt it was the right chair for him.
The reasons we require help funding the Hero arms is that Luke will need all sorts of things during his life. Luke’s wheelchair costs £12,500 of which we get just over £3000 contribution from the NHS. I foresee that for the next twelve years I will be fundraising for something to make Luke’s life the best it can be.