Little girl who had to have all limbs amputated at LGI due to worst case of meningitis ever celebrates milestone
The family of a girl struck down by the "worst case of meningitis" has hit a milestone they thought they may never see - as they celebrated her THIRD birthday.
Little Kia Gott, who had to have all her limbs amputated to save her life, was surrounded by love as she smiled at her cake and its three burning candles.
Mum Vikki Mitchell 32, and dad, Paul Gott, 36, helped the miracle tot open her presents and sang happy birthday to her in a low-key birthday tea on Wednesday (18 Dec).
Wearing an adorable party frock, Kia's brothers and sisters, Kayden, 11, Elsie, six and baby Espe, one, smothered her in the kisses and cuddles that she loves.
While Kia, pronounced Kya, loves the sensory lights she received as a present, her full-time carer mum Vikki says the best gift ever is that Kia is alive and here to enjoy her day.
Kia's own story is filled with so much heartache mum Vikki cannot even bear to think about what she has gone through.
Kia was hit with the killer bug in September 2017 when she was just nine months old.
Her case was so severe she had to have all four limbs amputated, suffered irreversible brain damage and doctors thought she may never be able to see or hear again.
She spent eight months in Leeds General Infirmary fighting the illness and its devastating aftereffects.
Two years on and Vikki chooses to focus on all the positives in Kia's life - the fact she is part of a loving family who all adore her and cheer each and every milestone she achieves.
Amazingly, Kia has made enough recovery to be able to hear and see her family and even raise a smile - something else doctors said she would never be able to do.
Kia was only nine months old when she was struck down by a rare and severe case of Meningitis C.
The brave little girl tragically missed out on having her vaccination for MenC at three months old as the age of administering the jab was moved to 12 months just the year before.
Her parents are sure that if she had had this jab it would have been a very different outcome.
Mum-of-four Vikki feels there was another missed opportunity to save Kia as she was taken to the doctors just hours before she was blue-lighted to hospital.
Kia had been poorly for a couple of days and had a high temperature which was not reducing with medication - something Vikki now knows is a sign of meningitis.
If treatment is delayed because symptoms of meningitis are mistaken - more than likely for flu - there can be devastating consequences and the family now know this only too well.
Just 12 hours after that doctor's appointment little Kia was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary after her self employed window fitter dad went to check on her in the night and noticed she had a horrendous blood red blotchy rash on her face.
Despairingly, by the time that rash appears it's a sign it may already be too late.
By the time paramedics arrived Kia's veins had collapsed and medication had to be administered by drilling a hole in her shin.
As time went on the only thing that could save Kia was to amputate both her arms and legs.
She was in hospital for eight months while she struggled to survive and Vikki and Paul struggled to be a family.
Thankfully, since Kia came home from hospital in June last year, she has not had to return and the family have remained together at their home in Bradford, West Yorks.
In that time Kia has gone from strength to strength.
She is becoming more alert as her pain medication reduces and can communicate better, especially since her little sister, Espe, was born a year ago.
Vikki said: "Kia is happy, she loves this time of year as lights are her favourite thing and they are twinkling everywhere.
"She has a loving family and is very cherished. She has come on much more than we could ever have imagined.
"She is even starting nursery in January, which is brilliant. There they have facilities and help that we don't even know exists, it's going to be fantastic for her."
But the family still can't deny Kia will always need round the clock care.
But on her special day, the family focused all their attention on a very special girl who needs all their time and attention.
Vikki said: "We are so thankful Kia is alive. We struggle but she is here to be loved and that is amazing.
"I cannot believe she is now three-years-old and is about to start nursery, while we were there, spending all that time in hospital I didn't dare think that we would see the day.
"We have Kia and we are all a family together and that is a great gift for us all."