Deadly disease affects many small children

14th April, Edward Bright with his new legs.
14th April, Edward Bright with his new legs.

A brave teenager who has coped without arms or legs after contracting meningitis as a youngster is starring in an exhibition dedicated to survivors.

Edward Bright, 14, contracted a rare strain of meningitis aged seven – six years after his twin brother, William, fought the disease.

They both survived, but Heanor Gate Science College pupil Edward had to have his arms and legs amputated and has worn prosthetic limbs since.

His proud mum, Clare, of Morleyfield Close, Ripley, told how Edward’s battle had never stopped him from living his life to the full.

And the teenager is now featured in an online exhibition called Focus on Meningitis.

Clare said: “In 2001, at the age of 13 months, my son William contracted meningococcal septicaemia but made a full recovery.

“In 2007, his twin brother, Edward, contracted meningococcal septicaemia, but he wasn’t so lucky and the disease resulted in amputations of his arms and his legs.

“Edward’s zest for life makes you forget what he’s been through sometimes.He is an inspiring character.”

The exhibition, created by the Meningitis Research Foundation, is made up of professional and amateur photographs and marks the health charity’s 25th anniversary this year.

Becky Pierce-Jones, from the organisation, said: “The fact that Edward and his brother William both had meningitis – each had a slightly different strain – and that Edward went on to have life-altering after-effects was very touching. He is an inspiration to all of us.”

Edward’s mum, Clare, added: “It highlights the after-effects that so many people face if they survive and how lives change forever.”

To see the exhibition, visit: meningitis.