A young meningitis survivor is getting to grips with her new prosthetic hand, which is making a huge difference to how she feels about herself.
Student Charlotte Hannibal, 19, of Selston in Nottinghamshire, had both legs amputated below the knee and lost all the fingers on her left hand when she contracted the disease. But now, thanks to funding from the Worshipful Company of Glovers and prosthetic company Steepers and the London Prosthetic Centre Silicone Clinic, she has a new glove, which she’s thrilled about.
“The quality is absolutely fantastic”, Charlotte said. “Many people have struggled to tell whether it was real or not. You can definitely see the amazing quality when I put it next to a standard definition hand. It’s so nice to have another piece of my old reflection back!”
Return to university
Charlotte had just returned to university when she contracted meningococcal group W (Men W) meningitis, she thought she had the flu when she began to experience a variety of symptoms, including feeling cold, shivering, a sore throat and a bloating feeling in her stomach.
Charlotte spent 17 days in an induced coma and awoke unable to remember what had happened to her. You can read her full story here.
Although Charlotte has recovered well from meningitis, she has been left with a number of after-effects which have changed her life dramatically.
“I was left with severe memory loss – I couldn’t remember being ill at all. My hearing was also damaged, and I was unable to move anything but my eyes and mouth. I spent a total of 27 days in Intensive Care and 12 weeks on a Burns and Plastics ward. I had both legs amputated below the knee and lost all my fingers on my left hand.”
Yesterday, we were pleased to arrange for Charlotte to talk about her experience with Radio 1 Newsbeat to help raise awareness of the Men ACWY vaccination campaign and encourage more students to protect themselves. You can see this here.
As she recovers Charlotte has helped organise events, including a music evening to raise funds and disease awareness, as well as towards her own prosthetic needs in the future.
The Worshipful Company of Glovers first approached us three years ago when they were looking to establish a fund that might help young people with hand and upper limb disability. We were happy to advise them and our then chief executive Sue Davie spent time with them to help set up the pilot programme.
This pilot programme led to Charlotte’s silicone ‘glove’. The Glovers will look after its care and maintenance too for the next five years.
True hearts and warm hands
The Worshipful Company of Glovers traces its history back to medieval times and two years ago celebrated the 375th anniversary of the grant of its Royal Charter by King Charles 1. It maintains close links with the glove industry but is today, like most Livery Companies, a charitable body which aims to make the most impact it can through its charitable funding. Its motto is True Hearts and Warm Hands.