New limb for 'amazing' Bethany

IN HER short life, Bethany Levett has achieved a phenomenal amount.

Danielle Nuttall

IN HER short life, Bethany Levett has achieved a phenomenal amount.

Despite her leg being amputated when she was just weeks old, the plucky five-year-old has already mastered the art of scooter riding, trampolining, swimming and disco dancing to name but a few.

But there has been one simple ambition that she has longed to realise since starting school - to sit cross-legged like the other children in her class.

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Now, thanks to being fitted with a new prosthetic limb giving her the ability to bend her leg for the first time, a whole host of new possibilities have opened up for the little girl.

The new leg has a joint which allows her to kneel, sit cross-legged and pedal her bicycle for the first time ever.

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It also provides her with the opportunity to fulfil another special dream - wearing flip flops.

This is due to the fact there is a gap between the big toe and the next toe unlike her previous prosthetic leg.

It has all come to symbolise a special step forward in the minds of her parents Darren and Hayley, of Spencer Way, Stowmarket, who are constantly amazed by their daughter's triumphs.

“We knew eventually she would be able to have a joint. The hospital said it was dependent on how quickly she grew as it depended on her height,” said Mrs Levett.

“The mechanism is quite big and there had to be enough leg to accommodate it. At Easter time we went to hospital and Bethany kept saying when could she sit like the other children. I was quite surprised when they said there was enough room to have a joint already. It's come earlier than we imagined it would.

“It's lovely when you go out in the car and see her with her legs bent whereas before the leg was always straight out.

“She can kneel now. She can sit cross-legged at school with her friends. She really wanted to sit like her friends on the carpet.

“I think in the long run walking and running will be easier for her.”

Bethany's leg was amputated in 2003 when she was just weeks old.

Three weeks after her mother and father had brought her home as a baby from hospital, Bethany went cold and white and would not take any milk so her parents rushed her back into the care of medics.

The tiny youngster suffered a cardiac arrest and doctors had to kick start her heart using a drug which is injected into the bone marrow.

The first time doctors tried the drugs burnt her limb because they were so powerful. They then tried it in her left leg and, despite it working and saving her life, the drug also paralysed her leg, making it go black to her toes. She later had to have it amputated through the knee.

But since her recovery there has been no holding back the inspirational youngster.

Bethany, who attends the Cara-Lea School of Dance, has just been told she can take exams in dance due to her promising talent and she has recently passed her 15m swimming certificate.

The youngster, who is a pupil at Wood Ley Primary School in Stowmarket, along with her sister Chloe, eight, also likes nothing better than to ride her scooter or trampoline in her back garden.

“When it all happened you don't know what the outcome will be but to see her now is amazing,” said Mrs Levett.

“We've never held her back. We've always encouraged her to do these things.

“Nothing fazes her. We've always made sure she has a go at everything. Having an older sister, she wants to do what ever she does.

“We didn't see her as being any different.”

Although it will take Bethany some time to get used to her new leg, which was fitted last month, she will notice the benefits in the long run as she will be able to run and walk much faster.

To celebrate the important milestone, the youngster has already been out and bought a pair of pink Disney flip flops for the summer.

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