Mia walking tall after year of heartache
LIKE most little girls, Mia Wilkinson loves mermaids. Some have cuddly mermaid toys or bedclothes, or they like to play dress-ups. But for five-year-old Mia, her mermaid wish was like no other.
All this courageous little dynamo wanted for Christmas was a pair of mermaid legs.
This week that wish came true when the Indooroopilly girl was fitted with a new set of prosthetic legs and feet - a big high in a year of heartbreak and suffering.
In October last year, the healthy, energetic girl fell ill with the flu and within days ended up on life support with deadly sepsis.
Her heart stopped and a team of medics brought her back from the edge of death.
She lost her arms and, not long afterwards, her legs.
"At one point we thought she was gone for ever so to see her so happy just a year later is unbelievable and we are so grateful just to have all our family together," mum Amy Wilkinson said.
Mia is very new to the challenges of life as a quadruple amputee but this amazing little girl is an inspiration. She is resilient and determined - the characteristics that made her hang on so tightly to life.
"I love my new legs and they are going to make me run faster than anybody else," Mia said this week at her special fitting.
As a very young amputee, Mia faces the problem of growing out of her legs very quickly. She outgrew the standard ones she received in hospital within a few months.
But replacing legs for a growing child is not like buying a new pair of shoes as the costs hit tens of thousands of dollars.
Thanks to a gift of $30,000 from The Courier-Mail Children's Fund, Mia has new legs to carry her into the start of her school life.
"Thank you, I love mermaids and I love my new legs," she said, wearing a hair bow to match her prosthetics.
Thanks to the magic of mermaids and courage beyond her years there is no stopping this little girl with the contagious big grin.