When 3-year-old Jenna Hansford fell ill in August 2015, her mom, Karen, just thought she had the flu. But when a rash started to spread all over the little girl’s body, Karen knew there was something more to it and she took her daughter to the hospital.

When the results came back Karen was stunned. Jenna had Meningococcal B, a rare and life-threatening disease that attacks the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

Doctors worked tirelessly to save Jenna’s life, and thankfully they did, but it came at a cost – they had to amputate Jenna’s right arm below the elbow and most of her left hand.

When Jenna woke up she asked Karen a question that broke her mother’s heart, a question Jenna continues to ask daily:

“Mum, why don’t I have a hand? Why don’t I have fingers?”

“I just say to her she got really, really sick, so when her friends ask her she tells them she got really, really sick and had to go to hospital,” Karen said.

Meningococcal B is preventable, but in some places, like Adelaide, Australia, where Karen and Jenna live, the vaccine is not part of the national immunization plan. Karen is now working to spread the word about this vicious disease so parents can protect their children and not have to go through what Jenna did.

Thankfully Jenna is back home and in good health, but she will need continued treatment for years to come.

We wish this sweet girl all the health and happiness in the world as she moves forward with her life.

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