One family initially planned to go shopping at IKEA, but a bizarre turn of events quickly landed them in a local hospital. Now, their little boy has had his legs amputated. According to the Mirror, 3-year-old Romeo Hadley complained about his legs being sore prior to leaving to go shopping with his parents. After a short period of time, his complaints became more specific because he stated that his legs “wouldn’t work.”
His rapid decline led his parents to believe he may have been suffering from an underlying condition such as meningitis, so they immediately rushed him to a local hospital. Although he did not have meningitis, it didn’t take long for doctors to discover something else.
Apparently, little Romeo had a rare illness known as Purpura Fulminans, a thrombotic disorder which manifests as blood spots, extensive bruising, and skin discoloration. The spots are a result of coagulation in small blood vessels within the skin which causes skin decay and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Following the diagnosis, Romeo was immediately rushed to intensive care, where he was put on a ventilator. Doctors warned his parents that there was a possibility he may not survive the sometimes-deadly illness.
“We were told by doctors that he had a huge fight on his hands,” Romeo’s mother, Katie Hadley, recalled. “It was heartbreaking. We just kept vigil by his bedside praying that he would pull through.”
During the first surgery, doctors attempted to save Romeo’s bruised legs by removing his calves to relieve pressure for better circulation, but to no avail. Two days later, doctors were forced to amputate both of Romeo’s legs just above the knee, reports Wales Online.
Although the ultimate decision was a hard pill to swallow, Romeo’s parents only focused on the silver lining, which involved doing what needed to be done to save his life. However, they were gravely concerned about their son’s reaction.
“All we cared about was him getting through the surgery,” Katie said.
“Thankfully he did, then we faced the awful fact that we had to tell him he had lost his legs. He was a (soccer) mad little boy, always running around causing mischief, I was so worried about his reaction. So when Romeo was lucid, after being sedated for two weeks, I told Romeo that his legs were poorly and a doctor had taken the bad bits away. At first he went quiet and couldn’t look at legs, but within hours he was talking and playing.”
Initially, Romeo’s parents were worried about how he’d handle the abrupt life-altering changes he’d be faced with, but surprisingly, he had a relatively positive outlook. He actually cited the positive changes in his life — from a child’s perspective.
“At least I won’t have to have my toenails cut now,” Romeo reportedly said.
Over the past six months, Romeo has undergone 36 different procedures. Now, he has finally returned home and is adjusting to his “new normal.” Although adjusting will take time, his parents have admired his bravery and positive outlook.
“He’s been such a brave little trooper throughout this. He’s never without a smile and he’s got such a cheeky sense of humor despite what he’s been through,” Katie said.
[Image via Shutterstock]