Little Bethany's big day

FOUR years ago little Bethany Levett had her leg amputated after suffering a cardiac arrest which stopped her heart beating for 40 minutes.But since her recovery there has been no holding back the inspirational youngster - and on now she fulfilled every young girl's dream and was a beautiful bridesmaid.

FOUR years ago little Bethany Levett had her leg amputated after suffering a cardiac arrest which stopped her heart beating for 40 minutes.

But since her recovery there has been no holding back the inspirational youngster - and on now she fulfilled every young girl's dream and was a beautiful bridesmaid.

Now four-years-old, Bethany walked down the aisle of St Mary's Church in Earl Stonham by herself, holding her older sister Chloe's hand.

She was wearing a specially-made white dress, with sequinned flowers and a lilac sash. She even had matching lilac nail varnish on her nails, including the ones on her prosthetic leg, after insisting that she be like the grown up bridesmaids.

It was a special occasion not only for Bethany's parents, Darren and Hayley, of Stowmarket, but also for her godparents, Emma Francis and Lee Edwards, both of Old Newton, who were getting married.

Hayley said: “There were a few tears looking at Bethany and Chloe coming down the aisle. My aunty even cried when they had their bridesmaid dress fittings in the shop.

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“We were a little bit worried that Bethany might fall over if it was slippy and with her new pretty shoes on but there was carpet and she was holding Chloe's hand.”

Bethany's leg was amputated in 2003 when she was only weeks old.

Her mother and father had first noticed a problem when they brought their daughter home to Spencer Way. Just three weeks later, Bethany went cold and white and would not take any milk so her parents rushed her back into the care of medics.

The tiny youngster suffered a cardiac arrest and doctors had to kick-start her heart using a drug which is injected straight into the bone marrow.

Although the needle was just supposed to rest in her leg, the first time doctors tried the drugs burnt her limb because they were so powerful. They then tried it in her left leg and, despite it working and saving her life, the drug also paralysed her leg, making it go black to her toes. She later had to have it amputated through the knee.

After weeks of recovery and appointments with medics to have her heart monitored, Bethany now only has to return to hospital when her prosthetic leg becomes sore or when she needs a new one. For, while other children grow out of their clothes quickly, Bethany's growing spurt has seen her need countless longer legs fitted.

Hayley said: “She's getting on really well - she doesn't let anything faze her.”

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