The West

Aiden s attitude inspires many
Aiden Brown with Guildford Primary School mates Abby Head, left, Tyler Billing, Jack Scalan, Alicia Grehan and Brady McIntyre. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Five years after having his legs amputated and nearly losing his life to a serious illness, Aiden Brown is a soccer-mad 12-year-old with a "can-do" attitude that would put many able-bodied people to shame.

The Guildford Primary School Year 7 student, who stopped Perth traffic when he was taken on a mercy dash from Princess Margaret Hospital to Melbourne for life-saving treatment in 2008, had to learn to walk again on prosthetic legs.

Seven of Aiden's fingers also had to be amputated after a seemingly innocuous cough and high temperature developed into streptococcus pneumonia that caused his lungs to fill with fluid and his arms and legs to turn black.

Aiden, who is looking forward to starting high school next year, does not remember much about his illness or losing his legs.

"I was asleep most of the time, so I don't remember much, just the fun things," he said. "It was kind of hard to walk on the prosthetic legs and I did cry sometimes but I got over it."

Aiden's message to anyone facing personal adversity is: "Never give up."

He said when he first started playing soccer, he was "really bad" but hours of practice with his father had helped him learn how to kick the ball.

Aiden's parents Nadia and Michael were told he would probably lose his arms as well as his legs.

"We were lucky that his hands have survived and he only lost a few fingers," Mrs Brown said.

She said Aiden loved to draw houses and was considering becoming an architect one day.

Guildford principal Robyn Webster said Aiden was an inspiration to other students and had helped build a strong sense of compassion in the school.

The West Australian

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