Ellie Mae’s story

6th February 2015

It was just three days before Ellie Mae’s first birthday when her mother, Kelly, noticed a small purple bruise on her forehead. Within minutes the family, from Stoke on Trent, found themselves in hospital. Kelly takes up the story

Ellie-May

“Ellie Mae had had a cold for a couple of weeks but finally seemed to be getting better.  She was restless through the night, so I stayed with her and cradled her in my arms. At 7.40am I noticed a small purple bruise-like mark on her forehead, I knew she hadn't bumped herself during the night, so I called NHS Direct. They immediately sent an ambulance and they swept her up and within minutes we were at the hospital".

“The most amazing group of doctors and nurses were waiting for us. They rushed around for what seemed like hours before transferring Ellie Mae to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. They spent hours trying to stabilise her and we were then finally allowed in to see our baby".

Told to prepare ourselves  

“The doctors took us to one side and told us to prepare ourselves; she had meningococcal septicaemia and she may not last the night. Within one hour she was damson colour from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Ellie Mae was on life support, dialysis and was just so so poorly. After a few weeks she was transferred to another hospital for lifesaving operations. This was just the start of a very long journey".

"Now, nearly eight years later she has grown into a beautiful young lady. But the disease took its toll. Ellie Mae sadly lost both of her legs, her left arm, the septum of her nose and her bottom. The growth plates in her hips were so badly damaged that her legs haven't grown since she was taken ill. One is 8cm long and the other 11cm".

“She is unable to sit down as she has no hip movement and constantly gets respiratory infections. She has scarring all over her body and has been skin grafted everywhere apart from one tiny space on her tummy. She has endured 76 operations, each with its own risks and complications. But, after everything she has gone through, she is the most amazing, beautiful, happy little girl ever! She is never sad and never lets her limitations stop her from doing anything. She is our shining light.”

Meningitis Now helped the family with a £6,000 grant towards the cost of a vehicle to carry Ellie Mae’s electric wheelchair last year. The family is still fundraising towards this and people can support them through donating or fundraising via Ellie Mae’s website