For little Amy Wolstenholme, completing her first term at school is a dream come true.
Walking through the school gates is daunting for any four-year-old, but Amy – who has undergone 48 operations after contracting meningitis when she was just nine months old – hasn’t let her disability hold her back.
And, despite her mum Jade’s apprehension about her starting at Carr Head Primary in Poulton, the determined youngster loves it.
Jade, 26, said: “She has been through such a lot but she’s got a lot of determination.
“Going to school has really brought her on. She loves it.
“She only does mornings from 9am until noon but she is doing really well.
“She never went to nursery because of what she’s been through so she’s never had any friends.
“At first some of the other children asked her questions like ‘What’s wrong with your face?’ and ‘Where are your fingers?’
“Now they really look after her and she’s made a couple of friends.”
The plucky four-year-old, who has one to one help in the classroom, has now learnt how to write her name and can count up to 30.
And Amy’s nine-year-old brother, Connor, looks out for her at school.
Jade, of Ravens Close, Normoss, added: “He loves it that she’s at school now too. She can’t play out because she can only walk for about five or 10 minutes before she gets tired. He carries all her bags into school.
“They’re both great.”
Amy was left fighting for her life when Jade found a rash on her body in December 2010.
Her left leg had to be amputated due to the disease so she now uses a prosthetic and will need physiotherapy for the rest of her life.
But consultants at Alder Hey Children’s Hospice are pleased with her progress.
Jade added: “Last Thursday she saw her consultant and everything is fine for another six months.
“She hasn’t had an operation for the last 18 months now.
“It’s given us peace of mind just before Christmas.”
The family is hoping for a brighter Christmas this year, as last year they were coming to terms with the death of Jade’s father Anthony, who died aged 52.
Jade added: “Last Christmas was really hard as I’d just lost my dad, I was crying the whole time.
“But we’re getting ourselves back on the ladder.
“And my dad will be with us in spirit.
“I’m going to bring my dad’s ashes down and he will have a place at the table with us.”