By Jess Grieveson-Smith
A mum has documented how her son – who survived meningitis but lost his legs and fingers – has endured 84 operations but has never stopped smiling.
Taylor Lewis has never let the operations getting him down, with mum, Terri Lewsley able to get a snap of him after every op – with a big grin on his face.
Putting together a video to show Taylor how far he’s come, Terri couldn’t help but share with his supporters on social media – as the little boy’s relentless optimism never falters – from eight months old when his journey began to now aged four.
Taylor, from Nottingham, was struck down with a deadly form of meningitis – Meningococcal Septicaemia type w – in April 2015 and has since undergone 84 operations to help him eventually use prosthetics.
As Taylor grew, in order to use his prosthetics, he needed more operations but mum Terri, 26, couldn’t be more proud of Taylor.
Terri, a former inventory clerk, said: “The huge amount of operations have save his life as well as given him some independence back, which is really important to him.
“His most recent operation on January 23 was to allow him to feed himself, get dressed and brush his teeth.
“Taylor is determined to not let anything hold him back, and so for him, it seems the more activities he can do, the more dangerous they are, the better.
“Every operation for him, is worth it – and Taylor just manages to smash them all, and everything he does in between.
Terri was forced to watch helplessly as doctors gave eight month old Taylor just hours to live but the courageous boy continued to fight and came out of a coma after 17 days.
Taylor, who is now four years old, needed his left leg and all eight fingers, two thumbs and toes removed after they turned black in 2015 – and later had to lose his remaining right leg as well.
But despite all of this, Taylor is still relentlessly determined to get his mobility back, loving to be outdoors – and his mum loves to watch him explore.
She added: “It was the worst day of my life when doctors prepared us to say our goodbyes, his legs were black and he was hooked up to every machine possible.
“I just prayed he would pull through and after surgeons amputated his left leg, toes, and fingers on both hands, he started to improve and smile again.
“He was given his prosthetics four weeks after being discharged in 2015, and a few weeks later he was able to stand and take those first few steps after gaining his balance.
“I was so happy I could have cried when he stood up for the first time, Taylor is the biggest fighter I have ever known, he’s amazing.
”He’s never been one to ask for help or complain but the pain is clearly getting to him as he’s spent the past ten months in a wheelchair.
“But his smile has never wavered or faltered – where most would give up with the amount of operations he’s needed, Taylor just smiles.
“He is still the same cheeky kid he always was.”
Taylor first fell ill on April 20 2015 when he had been put to bed as normal – but in the early hours of the morning, Terri noticed he had a temperature.
She said: “He was boiling hot but was shivering as though he was cold, after dialling NHS Direct with his symptoms, I was told to call an ambulance.
“But after going to hospital Taylor seemed to perk up and we were sent home, at first I was relieved but this was short lived.
“What happened next was just the start of our nightmare, once back home he went downhill and wouldn’t eat or drink.
“It was the biggest relief of my life when he started to improve, even though it had left him with life changing damage to his legs and hands.
“I knew he would need amputations but all I cared about was him surviving.
“He was always such a happy, smiling baby before he was diagnosed and that didn’t change.
“Taylor has amazed doctors with his fighting spirit and no matter what the future holds, I know Taylor will smile his way through it all.
“I’m just so proud of him and the ways he manages to adapt every time there’s a setback.
“It may be that in the future, he might need a few more operations, but for now nothing is planned.
“I’m hoping that in the future he’s be fitted with full length prosthetics and blades that will enable him to be active as he wants when he gets older.”