a brave five-year-old who lost all four limbs to meningitis refusing to let her disability hold her back – after taking up GYMNASTICS.
Brave Harmonie-Rose Allen was given just a ten per cent chance of survival when she was struck down with meningitis at just 11 months old.
By the time she was a year old, Harmonie was a quadruple amputee and had also lost part of her nose to the illness.
But Harmonie has continued to defy all the odds – taking her first steps on prosthetic legs at the age of three, and walking over a half-marathon finish line in March of this year.
And now Harmonie, of Bath, Somerset, is loving her new hobby, gymnastics – where she bounces on the trampoline and is learning to master a backwards roll and even her own version of a cartwheel.
Harmonie even manages her weekly class, at Baskervilles Gymnastics in Bath, without her prosthetic limbs.
She tackles each new movement with a look of concentration and steely determination on her face, and beams when she accomplishes something.
Her proud mum Freya Hall, 25, said: “She just asked to do it and we were a bit wary at first.
“We took her to the Gym Start class and she was a bit nervous to begin with, but since then she’s never looked back.
“In terms of the moves and apparatus the coaches help her and she just finds her own way of doing things.
“She’s learning how to do a backwards roll at the moment and she can do her own version of a cartwheel.”
Freya, who also has 14-month-old daughter Luna with Ross Allen, added: “If Harmonie wants to do something she will put everything into it. That’s just Harmonie.
“To begin with some children did look at her a bit in gym class, but she’s made so many friends and she’s really enjoying it.
“It’s really important to keep her active and I want Harmonie to know she can do anything she puts her mind to in life, so that she will see no barriers.”
Having been at Baskervilles for almost three months, the Combe Down Primary pupil now attends the weekly session for four- to six-year-olds.
Head women’s artistic coach Fran Ince said: “To begin with we weren’t sure what Harmonie’s limitations might be but her progress has been amazing.
“She’s thought of like any other child in the class. Harmonie shows that there are no limits when you set your mind to something. It’s incredibly motivating.”
Baskervilles MD Paul Baskerville added: “Her enthusiasm and determination is empowering for gymnasts and coaches alike.”
Harmonie’s determination has been an inspiration to many in the Bath community, which rallied to raise around £240,000 in her early years for the therapy and equipment she needs.