Thanks to a pioneering set of bionic ‘cricket legs’, a 10-year-old boy whose both legs were amputated following an attack of meningitis, dreams to play for England one day.
Harvey Parry, whose both legs were amputated when he was just 15-months-old, just loves playing cricket.
Thanks to the bionic ‘cricket legs’ believed to be the first of their kind in the UK Harvey is fulfilling his lifetime ambition of playing competitively.
“I’d really love to play for England one day. That’s my dream,” he said while naming Test batsman Joe Root as his hero.
“I really love my new legs because when I play cricket I can stand still and bat and also run. I love cricket and playing in a team is such great fun,” he told The Sun.
Harvey’s titanium legs were designed after he was flown to Florida specialist Hanger Prosthetics for a fitting.
They were delivered earlier this year and he has now embarked on his first competitive season with his new limbs which feature a hydraulic knee to help him bend and he has already been among the wickets and scored dozens of runs.
Meningitis is an often lethal infection that attacks membranes around the brain and spine.
He was taken to hospital by his mum Carol, a housewife, and IT consultant dad Jon, both 54.
Doctors told them their son’s only chance of survival was to have his legs amputated just above the knee and to have fingers removed on his right hand.
He survived but his remaining stumps were so scarred and sensitive that artificial legs provided by UK’s National Health Service were too painful to wear.
This spurred his family on to a fundraising mission and they were eventually able to send him to the US to have his first artificial limbs fitted at the age of two.
The following year he returned for a pair of running legs and, over the past seven years, the sporty youngster has won a string of gold medals for Britain competing in the Endeavor Games in Oklahoma.
Yet one sport he struggled to play was his favourite cricket.Last year he joined West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club, in West Sussex, but found it difficult to bat or bowl due to the restricted movement in his running legs.
Harvey said: “It was really frustrating trying to play last season.“If I wore my running legs I couldn’t stand still to bat and if I wore my walking legs I couldn’t run after I batted.
“My friends all tried to help me and sometimes I’d bat and they would run for me, but it wasn’t the same.”
Mum Carol added: “It was so frustrating watching him trying to play and a few times I ended up crying as I could see how much he wanted to.
“The club did its best to accommodate him and, on one occasion, he even wore one walking leg and one running leg, to see if that worked,” she added.