A schoolgirl who lost her arms and legs after contracting sepsis as a toddler is set to represent Scotland at an international para-surfing tournament.
Jade Edward lost her arms and legs after contracting Meningococcal Septicaemia at the age of two and was told she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
However, after battling through the life-threatening illness, the ten-year-old will now become the youngest ever athlete to compete at the ISA World Para Surf Championships in California.
The Meldrum Primary School pupil learned to surf by lying down on the board on her stomach and describes being on the waves as her “happy place” – despite the often freezing conditions near her home in Aberdeenshire.
She said: “I am super excited to be doing something I love and representing my favourite country.
“It will be an honour and a privilege to represent Scotland for the first time ever in Para Surfing.
“When I go surfing, I feel so happy. I absolutely love it.
“My mum and dad say it’s my ‘Happy Place’. I’m not bothered what temperature the water is, as I still love it even when it’s freezing.
Jade’s surfing career progressed in July when she attended the English Para Surf Competition in Bristol, where organisers invited her to compete stateside after being stunned at her “natural ability” on the board.
She will now take on the best the world has to offer when the competition kicks off in Pismo Beach on December 4.
She added: “When I was told I was going to be representing Scotland at surfing, I felt like I was going to burst. It’s an amazing opportunity that I’m really excited about.
“Having had a fear of the sea and water to a degree, especially given I am paralysed from the chest down and more vulnerable being thrown around in waves, I remember just how incredible to be in the sea after my first go.
“Moving with the waves brings a feeling of freedom and connection with self and nature and the team involved. All the restrictions of being paralysed or physically limited in any way just disappear.”
To support Jade’s cause, you can donate here.