Meningitis survivor Robbie Jones begins school

A County Durham boy who had to have both legs amputated after contracting meningitis has reached a major milestone - beginning school.

Robbie Jones, of Bowburn, was 23 months old when he caught the bug, and his parents Jill and Wayne were told his chances of survival were "slim".

He had to go on a ventilator and also have his fingertips amputated.

But two years on Robbie, now four, has beaten the odds and started at Bowburn Infant and Nursery School.

Robbie caught the B meningococcal strain of the bug, for which there is no vaccination. His parents at first thought it was an allergy because he was covered in black and blue marks.

He had to be treated at three different hospitals and spent five days on a ventilator. He was eventually fitted with prosthetic limbs.

'Emotional day'

Mr Jones said: "The doctor said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen.

"It looked like Robbie had been beaten up, he was bruised all over.

"It was actually his blood clotting. He was swollen all over, you couldn't even see his eyes."

Robbie's school is currently installing a new toilet and cloakroom for him so he does not have to walk as far as his classmates.

Mrs Jones said: "At the time it didn't hit home until we were told the doctors would have to amputate, otherwise Robbie would die. We were both hysterical.

"But he is just like any normal kid - this is a very emotional day for us - we are so proud and over the mood he is still here."

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