Her life is very different to other toddlers. She can't run around, climb, jump or crawl and has already endured more medical procedures than most people do in a lifetime.
A quadruple amputee, Harmonie-Rose Ivy Allen is slowly starting to get used to the prostheses she will depend on all her life to function in an able-bodied world. But the little girl from Bath in the United Kingdom recently received a gift that will help to ease her hardship: a doll adapted to resemble her, fake limbs and all.
"Mummy, she's just like me!" the two-year-old exclaimed when she saw the doll.
The amputee doll -- which Harmonie has named Rebecca -- comes from a prosthetics company called A Step Ahead which is based in New York and offers many services for amputees, including adapting toys for kids.
Harmonie was 11 months old when she woke in the night coughing and struggling to breathe. Her parents, Freya and Ross Allen, rushed her to hospital but doctors could find nothing wrong and sent her home. The next morning she had turned blue and she was taken back to the hospital. Her parents were told it was "just a virus" and took her home again.
Hours later Harmonie had become floppy and lethargic and was rushed her back to hospital, where staff noticed a rash. Within four hours the rash had spread across her body and her arms and legs had started to turn black.
The little girl had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia and was put on life support. She was given a 10 percent chance of survival and doctors told her parents they needed to amputate all four of her limbs to improve her odds. They agreed and Harmonie slowly started to recover. Over the next year her family and local community helped to raise money for special equipment for the toddler, who, despite many follow-up procedures, coped amazingly well.
Overjoyed with their little fighter, her parents created a ‘Hope 4 Harmonie’ Facebook page where they shared their daughter's progress.
A recent post details how delighted their daughter was after receiving an American Doll that had been customised to look like her.
“Yesterday we decided to give Harmonie her doll because she coped so well with hospital,” the delighted parents wrote.
“There is something special about this doll though... She is just like Harmonie... A quadruple amputee! She has prosthetic arms and legs! And she's all the way from America from the very famous shop American girl, in Newyork! (sic),”
“She then travelled to A Step Ahead prosthetic company who adapted her to look just like Harmonie. How amazing is that.”
On their website A Step Ahead website writes, “We feel it is absolutely crucial to boost the self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for little girls with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being.
“The prosthetics themselves are entirely designed and fabricated in our prosthetics shop alongside the 'real' prosthetics, and are painted by hand in a variety of colours.”
Her parents are thrilled. "As you can see, she is already loved very much in this house and I know she will be Harmonie’s best friend forever,” they wrote on their Facebook page.
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