In 2019, we brought you the inspiring story of little Mia Wilkinson, who at the age of four, became a quad amputee. Through our Benevolence Assistance program, we were able to provide $15,000 to help with modifications to the family home to ensure that Mia could maintain her independence. Now, three years since the harrowing diagnosis of sepsis, we caught up with Mia’s Mum Amy, to find out how young Mia is doing.
When the Wilkinson’s brought four year-old Mia home from the hospital after nearly losing her to sepsis, they were unsure what her future would be.
In the years since they have had their ups and downs, but they are continually amazed by Mia’s determined spirit and now know that with the right support, nothing will hold her back.
Mia, who is now seven years old, recently received a new set of running blades and now runs everywhere according to her Mum, Amy.
“She’s getting a lot of benefit from those (running blades). They’ve really opened up her ability to interact with her classmates and keep up with them,” Amy said.
“Even with her prosthetic legs, Mia’s spending all day in them now which has been a massive jump, whereas before she would wear them for a period of time and would rely on a power wheelchair at other times.
“We were recently able to go out as a family to the Queensland Museum, and she was in them all day, so she’s doing really well and the family’s setting back into normal life.”
Seeing Mia on a bike again was another first this year.
“We had a modified bike made with training wheels and modified handrails. She’s wanted to do it for so long, and to be able to do it with her siblings has been wonderful.”
Indeed, the Wilkinson siblings spent nine weeks together at home during the COVID shutdown.
“Homeschooling with three kids is fun!” Amy recalls with a laugh.
“It was quite similar to most families. We stayed home and didn’t go out much. The girls had their schoolwork online, and their younger brother Max who is four is home normally anyway.
“It was a challenge, but we sort of got into a routine. We had our downtime and outside play and rediscovered our backyard, which was nice. Max stole the girls’ colour pencils on the first day too!”
Now that schools have reopened Mia is back at school with her friends and is looking forward to learning the piano next year.
“We’re really lucky, the school is so proactive and give her choices in what she wants to do. They’ve recently had a lift installed to get to the top part of the school, where their library and PE lessons are. Whereas before you had to go around on the road and out one gate.”
Amid all the progress, in late June Mia spent a nervous few nights in the hospital and underwent tests after complaining of a sore knee, but luckily it turned out to be bursitis and not an infection.
As for what’s next for Mia, Amy says she is due to get another set of prosthetic arms having outgrown the last set.
“We will continue working with the prosthetists and build up muscle and strength, but as Mia’s bones keep growing, new arms are on the cards next. Mia may soon need to have surgery on her left leg as well as the bone gets close to the end of the skin, which will need to be trimmed off .”
Regardless of the hurdles in front of her, Mia is improving every day.
“Off she goes, with a little help, like getting herself dressed. Even the other day, I was looking at the bathroom that was modified with the $15,000 Benevolence Assistance support, and it’s made a massive difference.
Mia can access the bathroom independently, self-toilet and reach the mixer taps, but if we still had the old bathroom, she wouldn’t be able to do any of these things.
“We’re grateful to the Maryborough Freemasons for putting us on to Hand Heart Pocket.”
Acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Qualtrough said the Freemason charity was delighted to hear of Mia’s progress and that Hand Heart Pocket’s support continues to enable Mia to maintain her independence.
“Especially after the year we’ve all had, Mia’s courage and determination is inspiring and shows just how resilient the human spirit is. We are all cheering for you, Mia!”