48 operations for brave little Amy

Brave youngster Amy Wolstenholme (2), who has undergone 48 operations since contracting meningitis, will have to have another on her leg as it is growing weaker.'Amy with mum Jade at their Ravens Close home in Normoss.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2012

Brave youngster Amy Wolstenholme (2), who has undergone 48 operations since contracting meningitis, will have to have another on her leg as it is growing weaker.'Amy with mum Jade at their Ravens Close home in Normoss. PIC BY ROB LOCK'5-12-2012

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IT’S a smile that fills Amy Wolstenholme’s family with hope as the brave toddler battles to walk again.

The family’s number one Christmas wish is that the tot will finally see the back of her troubles as she undergoes her 48th operation which doctors hope will give her a chance of normality after contracting meningitis

The two-year-old was left fighting for her life when her terrified mum Jade found a rash on her body in December 2010.

Amy’s left leg had to be amputated when the disease spread rapidly across her tiny body and left her covered in scars.

Almost 18 months after the meningitis struck, Amy was making progress and walking with a prosthetic leg, but doctors are now preparing to put her to sleep again to examine her right leg after she broke her ankle.

Jade, who accompanies her daughter to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital, said: “It’s a nightmare for her because she was doing so well with her prosthetic limb, but she is still smiling.

“We are very lucky she has kept her leg and it’s only now the problems have started when she learnt how to walk.

“Her leg has to be in a splint at all times so it can be supported, but they keep failing her.”

Amy’s remaining leg was also attacked by the meningitis during her ordeal, which weakened the muscles surrounding her knee.

Doctors hope they can get to the root of the problem when they examine her leg during an operation in January.

They have warned the family the youngster’s weakened ankle may be prone to break every six weeks but plan to design a splint large enough to support the toddler and allow the bone to heal.

Jade, of Raven’s Close, Normoss, added: “She’s had 47 operations and it breaks my heart because every time it comes to Christmas she is in hospital and I thought everything would be calming down by now.

“Once we get home it’s great and we start again, but this has got me really down because I know what’s ahead and we have to go into another operating theatre.”

To protect her leg and give her some movement, physiotherapists have provided Amy with a small buggy which she can move around in.

Jade, 24, added: “She was made up when they brought the buggy home.

“It’s really upsetting to know your child is having an operation but it has to be done.”

Earlier this year, the family enjoyed a holiday to Spain courtesy of St Annes-based charity Ray of Sunshine.

Charity founders, David and Dee Lee, offered the family a week at their luxury villa in Spain after reading about the toddler’s ordeal in The Gazette.

The couple also threw in flights, transfers and insurance as part of their amazing gift.

And while they were away, the charity decorated the family’s home as another surprise.