Tilly Lockey, 17, is a double amputee who’s well known across social media for her bionic arms.
The ‘Hero Arms’, which were developed by Open Bionics, allowed to her to gain independence and ‘do pretty much everything people with hands can do.’
You can even change the covers for the arms, which Tilly often does to match her outfits and shares the result on social media.
In a recent video, Tilly shared the story of how she lost both her hands as a baby and issued a warning of her symptoms to others.
She filmed a ‘Get ready with me’ video, where the 17-year-old did her makeup on camera, while giving her followers the run down of how it happened.
Tilly Lockey, 17, is a double amputee who’s well known across social media for her bionic arms
She said ‘First things first, was I born like this? No I wasn’t, I was born with all four limbs and I ended up falling ill when I was 15 months old.
‘At first it was just cold and flu like symptoms but my mam took me to go get it checked out anyway so we went to the doctors and it was there that I was diagnosed with an ear infection, given some tablets and sent home.’
She continued: ‘My mam had an inkling it was something more than just an ear infection but obviously you go to the doctors, the doctors tell you that and you trust them because they’re the experts.
‘It’s thanks to her and her intuition and motherly instinct that is probably one of the main reasons I’m alive here today.
‘At this point I’m taking antibiotics or whatever it was for my ear infection, thinking that’s it but then there was a symptom that showed up at home which my family themselves have to discover and that sort of sent my mam into overload.’
Tilly’s mother knew ‘exactly what it was’ and it was much more severe than an ear infection.
She explained that her nana found what is known as the ‘septicemia rash’ on her skin.
In a ‘Get ready with me’ video, where the 17-year-old was doing her makeup on camera, she gave her followers the run down of how it happened
Tilly mother described the rash as like ‘raindrops hitting a puddle appearing on her skin in the ambulance’
People with sepsis often develop a hemorrhagic rash, which gradually get bigger and begin to look like fresh bruises if left untreated.
She said ‘the best way to describe that is sort of like blood underneath the skin which you see in people when they reach old age, you get little spots underneath the skin like bruises.
‘My nana called in my mam to check it out and have a look and thankfully my mam noticed it right away, she knew exactly what it was and rushed me to the hospital right away and called an ambulance.
‘The reason I say thankfully is because when you see that rash, at that point it’s a race against time.’
Tilly mother described the rash as like ‘raindrops hitting a puddle appearing on her skin in the ambulance.’
The severity of the situation meant they had to get there as quickly as possible, the rash was spreading quickly.
She continued ‘Long story short, when I got to the hospital it was the worst case they’d ever seen, my family were given 0% chance of survival and they start operating on me pretty much right away.’
Tilly was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septicemia Strain B – This is where bacteria enters the bloodstream and multiplies, damaging the walls of the blood vessels and causing bleeding into the skin and organs.
People with sepsis often develop a hemorrhagic rash, which gradually get bigger and begin to look like fresh bruises if left untreated
As Tilly explained, septicemia ‘kills off your limbs starting from the tips.’
She concluded the video by saying ‘Obviously I’m here today and it was after one week in intensive care, three weeks in recovery, a secondary infection and ten blood transfusions that I managed to pull through and I’m here today.’
When Tilly was in the hospital, her mother promised her that one day she would have hands again – a dream that came true when she got her ‘Hero Arms.’
In an interview on the Open Bionics website, she said ‘I’m finding out new things I can do with my Hero Arms everyday. There’s this thing on the Wii called Just Dance where you have to hold the Wii remote and dance with it in your hand. Which is obviously proven to be a challenge for me.
‘What I used to do is tape the Wii remote to my arm, which would really hurt when taking it off, but at least it worked! However now I can just stick my hands on, pick the Wii remote up and start dancing!’
The TikTok video explaining her story has over 750,000 views and the comments are filled with support.
One person wrote ‘Thank you for sharing sepsis awareness! You are bright, beautiful, well-spoken and amazing for sharing your story! Keep sharing!’
Another viewer added ‘I used to work for the hospital and met you when you were in, even then you were a little bright spark!’
Referring to how she adapts to doing her makeup, one commenter said ‘Using your arm as a beauty blender is so cool!’