Quadruple amputee who lost her arms and legs to sepsis as a toddler is now making big waves as one of the UK’s top young surfers.
When Jade was two, doctors were forced to amputate all four of her limbs after she contracted meningococcal septicaemia. Now 10, she 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.
But Jade refuses to let her disability keep her down. After a chance encounter with Kevin Anderson, an instructor at adaptive facility SurfABLE, the young thrillseeker learned to surf, lying down on the board on her stomach.
Ever since, the fearless youngster has enjoyed a stratospheric rise in the sport and last year became the youngest-ever athlete and first ever Scot to compete in a top US surfing competition. She represented Scotland in the ISA World Para Surf Championships in California as part of the first ever Scottish Para Surf Team.
The schoolgirl, from Aberdeenshire, is now gearing up to taking her much-loved hobby all the way to the Paralympic Games in 2028.
Jade’s dad Fraser, 47, says: “In Jade’s eyes, she’s not disabled. 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.”