Brave Bethany making strides
WHEN Bethany Levett was just a few weeks old her leg had to be amputated following a cardiac arrest which stopped her heart beating for 40 minutes.But now the brave youngster, who will be three on January 14 and has had to learn to walk with the aid of a prosthetic limb, is set for a new challenge.
WHEN Bethany Levett was just a few weeks old her leg had to be amputated following a cardiac arrest which stopped her heart beating for 40 minutes.
But now the brave youngster, who will be three on January 14 and has had to learn to walk with the aid of a prosthetic limb, is set for a new challenge.
For the mischievous toddler is to start at Foxglove Nursery in Stowmarket on January 9 - a prospect which leaves mum, Hayley, very excited.
She said: “I think she'll be fine because she's been to some trial mornings at the nursery and knows what will happen and I think she'll enjoy it. I actually feel quite excited myself to be honest and I have no doubt Bethany will be absolutely fine.
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“She's getting on really well and has coped brilliantly. She enjoys doing lots of things but especially likes getting into mischief and doing anything that she's not supposed to!
“She is very much her own person, very defiant, and has a good go at everything. We can't stop her once she gets going and she can be quite a handful.
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“Bethany doesn't let the leg bother her and I don't think it ever will. She enjoys life to the full and is full of beans. It hasn't affected the way she does things at all.”
The drama first unfolded at the beginning of 2004, shortly after Bethany was born, when her mother and father, Darren, brought her back from West Suffolk Hospital to their home in Spencer Way, Stowmarket.
However just three weeks later Bethany went cold and white and would not take any milk so her parents had to rush her back into the care of medics.
The tiny youngster had suffered a cardiac arrest and doctors had to kick-start her heart using a drug which had to be injected straight into the bone marrow.
Although the needle was just supposed to rest in her leg the first time doctors tried it the drugs burnt her limb because they were so powerful.
They then tried it in her left leg and, despite it working, tragedy struck as the drug also paralysed her leg, making it go black to her toes.
She later had to have it amputated through the knee after being transferred to Guy's Hospital, in London.
Following weeks of recovery Mr Levett, 33, and Mrs Levett, 30, were finally able to take their daughter home, where she met her sister Chloe, now five-years-old.
Mrs Levett continued: “They play together as sisters do and it can be a bit of a love hate relationship at times as they occasionally have the odd disagreement. But Bethany carries on as normal and has even taken to a bit of swimming which she loves.”
Bethany was first featured in the EADT in July 2004, around three months after being given her prosthetic leg, and by that time she was already well on the road to recovery.
However she still has to go for regular check ups at Ipswich Hospital to ensure the limb is comfortable and not causing any problems.
Mrs Levett said: “Bethany still has to be monitored at the hospital and have regular check ups because of her cardiac arrest but her heart, touch wood, has been fine.
“There's no real set period for the leg as we just go along to the clinic if she is feeling a bit sore. It's important to keep an eye on it just to make sure it fits correctly. She is due a new one in the New Year, which I think will be her fifth, although it's hard to keep up because she is growing so fast.
“When she's seven the doctors have said she may be big enough for a leg with a bend but because the joints are quite large the leg has to be quite long so we're not 100% sure when that will happen.”