Brave girl, 5, takes up gymnastics despite losing both arms and legs to meningitis


A TINY tot who defied the odds to beat cancer takes her first tumbles on the mat as a gymnast.

Harmonie-Rose Allen, five, is a quadrouple amputee who lost all four limbs to meningitis aged 11 months but is not letting her disability hold her back.

SWNS:South West News Service

Harmonie-Rose Allen was just 11 months when she lost both arms and legs[/caption]

Equipped with her purple prostetic limbs, she takes on the ultimate challenge and pushes the limits each time she steps on the mat.

The youngster’s independence and perseverance can be seen clear as day as proud mother Freya Hall said: “She finds her own way of doing things and is now learning how to do a backwards roll.”

Harmonie, from Bath, has learnt to do a cartwheel despite teachers being worried she’d struggle to pick the sport up.

Miss Hall and her partner Ross Allen, 25, from Bath, Somerset, had watched Harmonie take her first steps just ten days before she fell ill with the deadly meningitis B virus in 2014.

Doctors told them there was just a ten per cent chance of survival and Harmonie’s was one of the worst cases of the killer bug they had ever seen.

Since then the tot has had to re-learn how to feed herself, play and get around.

Symptoms of meningitis

Meningitis can affect anyone but it’s most common in babies, teens and young adults.

It’s often mistaken for being flu and in some cases, people can seem hungover.

But the longer you leave it, the more at risk you become of things like blood poisoning – which can be fatal.

You can get the Meningitis B vaccine at Boots for £220.

Symptoms of meningitis develop suddenly and can include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C  or above
  • being sick
  • a headache
  • a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but this will not always develop)
  • a stiff neck
  • a dislike of bright lights
  • drowsiness or unresponsiveness
  • fits (seizures)

You need to seek medical help ASAP.

Even when people do survive meningitis, it can leave them with life-long issues such as hearing or vision loss, epilepsy, amputations and memory problems.

She was even given a doll with prosthetic arms and legs, just like her. 

In March she completed the half marathon – she tackled the 13.1-mile course with a seven-person support team, including two of her teachers and family, who took it in turns to push her special running chair

But Harmonie-Rose was determined to cross the finish line all on her own and was cheered on by the thousands of spectators who had lined the route around Bath city centre as she completed the course in just over three hours.

SWNS:South West News Service

Harmonie-Rose was ten months old when she was struck down by the killer disease meningitis[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Harmonie-Rose has continued to defy all the odds since she was a toddler[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

In March, Harmonie-Rose completed the half marathon in Bath[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Harmonie-Rose also lost part of her nose to the illness[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Brave Harmonie-Rose was given just a ten per cent chance of survival[/caption]

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