By Tim Saunders on
Tilly Lockey is only two years old, but she is hoping for a little magic. At the moment, this bright-eyed toddler is eager and happy, but she lacks the ability to do the things that other two year olds do. She can’t reach out for her toys. She doesn’t know what it is like to clutch a crayon and draw a picture. She can’t even hold her mother’s hand.
You see, Tilly Lockey has no hands of her own. But she wants some. And with a little help, she might just get some.
When Tilly was still a baby, she contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia, a deadly form of flesh-eating meningitis for which there is no vaccination. It was every mother’s nightmare – to see her baby slowly turn purple, then black, tubes coming out of every part of her tiny body, helpless and beaten by a relentless disease. For four weeks Tilly fought back in intensive care, and after ten blood transfusions later she was finally pronounced out of danger. Unfortunately her hands and toes were already dead, and had to be removed.
But this is where the magic comes in. Tilly’s parents, Adam and Sarah, have launched a campaign to give their daughter a hand – two hands, in fact. And they are appealing to the stars for help.
The initiative involves celebrities making prints of their hands – or perhaps just drawing around them – and then customizing them in a way that defines their character. Harry Potter creator JK Rowling heads the field, with drawings of wizards adorning her fingers. Sir Cliff Richard has donated a plain green handprint to represent his clean image, and Only Fools And Horses actor Sir David Jason has decorated his print with pictures from the long-running BBC comedy series. The pictures will then be auctioned in October.
Other celebrities, such as retired English footballer Alan Shearer, pop duo Erasure, David Prowse – who played Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies – and several members of Manchester United have also made clay casts of their hands for the initiative.
Tilly has so far received over 40 handprints and casts for the auction, including those from singer Katie Melua, Rolf Harris, Patrick Stewart, Linford Christie, Wendy Richard, The Weakest Link’s Anne Robinson, and several English cricket players. But in order for her to get the prosthetic hands she so desperately wants, she needs more. If anyone can help Tilly, the campaign can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Tilly’s story and the handprint auction can be found at www.givetillyahand.co.uk.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars