A little boy who lost both legs and an arm to meningitis has become a Spider-Man superhero at his primary school.
Little Jeremy Ose, six, has proved such an inspiration to staff and fellow pupils that Stantonbury’s Wood End school fund-raised for a special mural in his honour.
The giant painting shows Spider-Man with a prosthetic hand and two running blades fitted to legs that have been amputated.
Spider-Man fan Jeremy became unwell in January, feeling lethargic and running a high temperature after his mum Hambell picked him up from school.
After some paracetamol he seemed to pick up, but the following morning was floppy and listless.
“I called the GP but they said they had no appointments until 3.40pm. By that time Jeremy was so weak I had to carry him on my back through the streets to the surgery,” said Hambell, who lives in Purbeck, Stantonbury.
“By the time I got there, he could not even open his eyes.”
The GP called an ambulance, but even then did not suspect meningitis – because the telltale rash did not show on Jeremy’s dark skin.
“I want to warn other parents about this. I didn’t realise dark skin could hide the rash,” said Hambell, who is from Ghana.
The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell.
Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash.
Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis. Not everyone gets all the symptoms and they can appear in any order.
Jeremy was rushed to Oxford’s John Radcliffe, but by the time he got there it was a life or death crisis.
“His skin was going purple as the meningitis spread,” said Hambell.
“The doctors said he would die if they did not amputate his right arm and both his legs below the knee.”
Jeremy, who spent five months in hospital, will be fitted with two prosthetic legs and also a prosthetic hand. At the moment he uses a wheelchair or shuffles on his bottom to get around.
But the bright little boy has already learned to write again – despite the fact that one hand is missing and the other has restricted use.
“He holds the pen in his left hand then uses his right arm to move it along the paper. It’s incredible,” said his teaching assistant Suzie Hall.
During his lengthy spell in hospital, Jeremy was due to miss a government-set phonics screening test.
“Because we knew he was so bright, we went to the hospital and let him do the test. He passed – as we knew he would!” said Suzie.
Other pupils now love to push popular Jeremy in his wheelchair. During classroom time he has learned to shuffle around on his bottom.
The caring school launched a GoFundMe appeal online to raise £1,420 for Jeremy’s mural. Artist Aimi Rix did the painting at a reduced rate, leaving enough left over to buy Jeremy an iPad to help him learn even more.
“Jeremy is a little fighter and such a bright pupil. He amazes us all every single day and does not let his disability get in the way of anything. He’s a joy to teach – and a real superhero,” said Suzie.