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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Second birthday milestone for wonder girl Lillie-Mai Jackson

The parents of Lillie-Mai Jackson are hoping their little girl can celebrate her second birthday with new legs.

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FAMILY SUPPORT: Lillie-Mai Jackson with her mum Belinda Little, right, on a new bed bought for the youngster with money from The Sally Glendinning Meningitis Fund set up by Anne and Bobby Glendinning, left, in memory of their daughter who died of meningitis

Lillie-Mai, who lost both her legs and one arm when she got meningitis at 14 weeks old, has got her first set of flexible-knee prosthetic legs.

However, an infection on one of her stumps has meant she has not been able to try them on or attempt to walk – a milestone her family had hoped she would reach by her second birthday on Sunday.

Despite this setback, her mother, Belinda Little, said her daughter was doing very well.

“She is a champion – totally amazing,” she said.

When Lillie-Mai contracted meningitis her family was told it was unlikely she would survive and were told on two occasions to say goodbye to her.

Now, as they look forward to her second birthday on Sunday, Belinda said: “We were told that if she did survive she could be brain damaged.

“There is no sign of that. She never stops talking now. She just amazes us.”

Lillie-Mai was given an early birthday present last week from a Carlisle family who lost their own daughter to meningitis.

Sally Glendinning was 17 when she was struck down by illness in January 2011. The teenager died soon after, just days before Lillie-Mai contracted the disease.

Sally’s parents, Anne and Bobby, set up a memorial fund in tribute to their daughter and, last week, they handed £400 to Lillie-Mai’s mum Belinda and dad Rupert Jackson for a new bed supplied by Maryport furniture store Eddie Shimmings.

Belinda said the new bed would be a real help.

She said: “It’s low to the ground to make it easy for Lillie-Mai to get in and out.

“It was nice to meet Sally’s parents. Lillie-Mai really took to them. What happened to Sally is such a sad story, it really touched me.”

Both families are also keen to raise awareness of meningitis in the hope more people will spot the signs early enough to save lives.

l A Halloween family night is to be held at the Maryport Social Club on Mealpot Road on October 27 to raise money for Lillie-Mai.

The event starts at 7pm and will cost £5 and £2 for children.

The money raised will go towards the ongoing cost of prosthetic legs with the flexible knees Lillie-Mai requires, which are not available on the NHS.

Donations for Lillie-Mai can be left at any branch of the Cumberland Building Society.

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