Page last updated at 07:04 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 08:04 UK

Meningitis boy receives new legs


A toddler in Cornwall is learning to walk on artificial legs after losing all four limbs due to meningitis

A boy from Cornwall who lost his hands and legs following a severe meningitis attack has learned to stand after being fitted with prosthetic limbs.

Marshall Janson, from Carharrack, near Redruth, is practising with his new set of legs. He will be given prosthetic hands later.

Marshall, who is nearly two years old, got his new legs about a week ago after months of physiotherapy and fittings.

His mother, Stephanie Harris, said it was an "exciting" time for the family.

They make him so tall
Stephanie Harris

Marshall was admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Boxing Day 2008 after contracting the infection.

He was transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital, where doctors battled to save his life after his vital organs failed three times.

Ms Harris said of her son's progress: "He's really only been putting them to stand on and get a bit of balance.

"But it's quite exciting because they make him so tall, and he's been really good with them, because he's obviously had to go for a lot of fittings and things."

His first set of legs are not designed for him to walk on, as they are fixed in a standing posture and have no knee joints.

Marshall's family said the first pair would help him to learn to stand, and that he would get more mobile with later pairs.

An appeal has been set up by his parents, to help pay for more artificial limbs.

A pair of prosthetic hands will cost about £22,000 each, with a similar cost for legs.

Marshall is expected to need a new pair of hands and legs at least once a year until he is 18, his family said.

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This is Cornwall 'Miracle' child Marshall tries out his new legs - 6 hrs ago
Western Morning News New life for meningitis victim Marshall - 17 hrs ago
Derby Evening Telegraph Brave Edward beats swine flu - 23 hrs ago
Falmouth Packet Camborne boy gets new legs - 45 hrs ago
Horrabridge Today Race night to help young Marshall - 57 hrs ago

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