Inspirational youngster who lost arms and legs after sepsis battle becomes top surfer

Jade Edward is on the crest of a wave as she becomes the youngest ever competitor at the world parasurf championships

Jade will be the youngest surfer in the contest and can't wait to head to the US (Image: Para Surfing Scotland)

Despite only taking up surfing last year, quadruple amputee Jade Edward is making big waves in the sport. And the end of the month, the ten-year-old will become the youngest ever athlete to compete in the ISA World Para Surf Championships in California.

The schoolgirl, from Aberdeenshire, lost her arms and legs after contracting meningococcal septicaemia when she was two. The emergency surgery to have her limbs removed was deemed the only way to save her life.

Although Jade will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, the ten-year-old refuses to let it hold her back from following her ambitions. And assisted by professionals, she learned to surf.

Jade is now gearing up to ride the waves alongside people of all ages, nations and abilities - including Paralympic gold medallist Karen Drake - at the end of the month. And her eventual aim is to compete in the Paralympic Games in 2028.

Jade's dad, Fraser Edward, 47, told the Daily Record: " In Jade's eyes, she's not disabled. One day, I was going on a hill walk and Jade said, ‘can I come with you?’ I said, ‘you don't have legs, darling, you can't come’, but she said, ‘let's try’.

"We don’t think there are many other young quadruple amputees in Scotland. The ones we have met elsewhere lost limbs in tragic incidents.

"It's different to having had meningitis. She has a unique experience to others. She'll be part of the first ever Scottish surfing team to compete on the world stage. It's an opportunity nobody has ever seen before.”

The 10-year-old from Aberdeenshire and some of her fellow sportspeople (Image: Para Surfing Scotland)

Jade uses a power chair to get to and from school and a skateboard when she's out playing. At home, she scoots around by shuffling on her bottom.

She was first introduced to surfing after being approached by SurfABLE instructor, Kevin Anderson, on a beach in Moray last summer. And she's never looked back.

Jade's surfing progressed in July this year when she attended the English Para Surf Competition in Bristol, where organisers were stunned by her natural ability. She was invited her to compete stateside as part of the first ever Scottish para surf Team and she's all set to jet off with her dad, mum Lisa, 47, and sister Linsey, 13, for the contest on November 30.

Jade with her dad, Fraser, mum, Lisa and sister, Linsey
Jade with her dad, Fraser, mum, Lisa and sister, Linsey

Fraser said: "Being in the water gives her so much freedom. She's encountered horrendous weather conditions but never loses confidence.

"It’s a match made in heaven. She's lived with her disability all her life, but surfing has really welcomed her.

Jade added: “There’s not many 10-year-olds who get the chance to do this. My mum said it will be really good to be with other people with different abilities rather than always being the one who is different. I can’t wait.”

If you would like to donate to The Scottish Para Surf Team to help Jade on her way, click here.

By Fionnuala Boyle & Naomi Corrigan

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