THE FATHER of a boy who lost his limb to meningitis shared the extraordinary way his son coped with his amputation.
The brave little boy gave a heartbreaking goodbye to his hands before having surgery.
‘Happy and Healthy’ Luke Mortimer, a rugby champion, was hospitalized aged just seven and diagnosed with meningitis and blood poisoning.
Luke and his family made the difficult decision to have his arms and legs amputated to save his life.
The boy and his father Adam appeared on This Morning to discuss what had happened with presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.
Adam said Luke was unwell one school morning, but his condition didn’t initially worry his parents or the medics who examined him later that evening.
But when the seven-year-old was taken to the hospital, it turned out that he had meningitis.
“It actually escalated really quickly from there,” his father Adam recalled.
By the time he was able to get to his son and wife at the hospital, Luke had developed a rash all over his body.
Doctors told the family they would have to put the boy in a coma so he could be taken safely to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Once there, Adam said Luke was put on “heaps of drugs” and put on a dialysis machine to keep his liver and kidneys working.
“At that point he was fighting for his life,” the father recalls.
The little one spent six days in intensive care, where doctors determined that “sepsis had taken hold” and blood flow to his limbs was cut off.
By this time, Luke had come out of his coma, although he was still fairly heavily sedated – the boy said he felt like he was “sleepwalking”.
“When it happens, you don’t really have enough time to think about it,” Adam told Alison and Dermot.
When doctors announced they would have to amputate Luke’s limbs, they discussed it with the seven-year-old and his parents.
“At first Luke was embarrassed that he was going to lose his hands,” Adam shared.
But the family sat down with surgeons and psychologists before Luke realized his hands were “non-functional.”
Adam told This Morning: “We went to the surgery and just before the surgery he looked down at his hands and said: ‘Goodbye my beautiful hands. You have served me well.”
Stunned by the boy’s courage, Dermot simply said, “Wow.”
After that, Luke underwent several different surgeries – a whopping 23 in a 10-week period, many of which were skin grafts to replace the sepsis-affected skin on his body.
The family home wasn’t suitable for Luke, so they sold it and bought a bungalow, which was adapted to the little one’s needs by the charity Band of Builders.
Adam praised the team, saying, “The build has helped us tremendously – it has put the house where we need it to be so Luke can have everything he needs at home.”