A teenage martial arts fighter faces life-changing surgery tomorrow to save her leg after contracting meningitis and then sepsis.
Amy Burton’s right leg has been turned black and lifeless and surgeons plan to remove muscles from her back to restore her to fighting fitness.
Amy, 15, was struck “out of nowhere” by meningitis which left her on life support for a fortnight at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
Her mother Gayle Burton, 52, said: “It all happened so quickly. That day she was out shopping and was fine.
“Then around 24 hours later she was on life support. It was horrendous and such a terrible time for the family.
“We were so worried and we didn’t know if Amy would still be with us.
“All her brothers and sisters came to bedside and it was so horrible. You wouldn’t think that would happened like that – it was pretty scary.”
Amy was rushed to her local hospital at Southend in Essex when her mum discovered a rash that did not fade under pressure and then transferred to St Mary’s.
Mum-of-seven Gayle added: “Amy’s got a weekend job at our friend’s Indian takeaway and she works there every Saturday.
“She felt poorly while at work and started to ache everywhere on her body and she was in so much pain she started to cry.
“I’ve never seen her like that, Amy is so strong and rarely cries.
“So when she got home from work, I took her temperature and at one time it was up to 41 degrees but there were no other symptoms so she just went to sleep and took some pain killers.
“I kept checking up on her during the night and she kept getting up to be sick but she slept on and off until 9am.
“That was when I noticed a rash and I did the glass test.
“This is something that you were just taught when you have kids to check for these illnesses. The rash didn’t go away when I rubbed a glass over it.
“So I then rang the NHS 111 service and went to the local clinic who ordered an ambulance and she was sent to St Mary’s in Paddington that has a Meningitis and Septicaemia research centre.”
She added: “It’s the perfect place for her to be and she is in great hands.
“I just think people should know about this. It’s harder to notice this illness with teenagers as they would just go to sleep and try and sleep it off.
“It is so important to get to the hospital as early as possible, Amy just became so ill so quickly.”
Amy’s sister-in-law Danielle Burton, 24, is raising money for her rehabilitation treatment and a tutor for all the school Amy has missed.
To support Amy, head to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amyb.