The father of a 12-year-old quadruple amputee says he cannot believe “how positive she is” despite having suffered a life-changing event.
Keith Lanigan describes his daughter, Sophie, as “really outgoing” and prior to her illness she was a very keen gymnast.
It was in December last year that her life changed forever.
“The Saturday, she was out playing with her friends - just a normal day, same as usual,” Keith told The Pat Kenny Show.
“And then, on 11th December Sophie got just a temperature - nothing else. We controlled the temperatures as you normally would do.
“She had her dinner and we played board games.”
The plan was to have a lazy day together but when she was still sick on Monday the family rang the GP for an appointment.
The GP thought she might have pneumonia and an ambulance was summoned to take her to Temple Street Hospital straight away.
There her condition continued to deteriorate and she was moved onto Crumlin.
By Tuesday, doctors told Sophie’s parents they might have to put her on a life support machine and they should prepare for the worst.
“We were told just to take it hour by hour,” Keith recalled.
“And fight one battle at a time. For every battle you win, it’s a small victory.”
While Sophie survived, doctors concluded that the illness had damaged her hands and feet so much they had no choice but to amputate them.
It has changed her life forever but her parents are struck by her optimism.
“She’s unbelievable,” Keith said.
“Honestly, it’s crazy to think that [she’s] a 12-year-old with what she’s done. She’s been like this all the way through.
“I know she’s had her moments where she’s been down and we’ve been there to pick her up but a lot of the time we look at her and... her attitude is just ridiculous.
“She talks about gymnastics and how she’s going to do elbow stands - instead of handstands… I just can’t believe how positive she is.”
The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help them with the costs of Sophie’s new life.
Main image: Sophie.