A young boy who lost all his limbs to meningitis has mastered the art of building miniature skateboards with mind-blowing accuracy using his mouth.
Incredible footage shows talented Memphis Lafferty, 12, of Flower Mound, Texas, skilfully constructing the tiny models despite the fact he has no hands to hold the pieces.
Memphis contracted bacterial meningitis when he was six months old and was rushed to hospital where doctors gave him 12 hours to live.
Building model skateboards: 12-year-old Memphis Lafferty enjoys crafting miniature skateboards despite having no limbs
Inspirational amputee: Memphis has pushed the boundaries by taking up different hobbies such as swimming, skiing and building model skateboards
Skills: The Texas 12-year-old has worked out the perfect way to craft the tiny skateboards
He miraculously battled back and defeated the infection but lost both arms and both legs in the process.
Proud dad Chris Lafferty, 46, said that ten years on, Memphis continues to amaze and is determined to prove that he is just like any other kid.
The inspirational amputee has pushed the boundaries by taking up hobbies including hover-boarding, swimming, skiing and jiu jitsu but one of his biggest loves is building model skateboards.
‘People are surprised when they see how I make them because I have no hands. I just use my mouth and my numbs,’ Memphis said. ‘I want them to know that I am just like everyone else. I am just trying.’
A deadly infection: Memphis contracted bacterial meningitis when he was six months old. He pulled through but doctors had to amputate both arms and legs
‘It’s absolutely insane. These things are the size of your finger. I wouldn’t be able to do it, ‘ Chris, a food distributor, said.
‘Memphis loves going out on his skateboard and a little while back he asked if he could build a model one himself.’
‘I told him no because I wouldn’t be able to help him but he said, “It’s okay, I have a friend who can help me,” so I bought him a kit.’
‘Then he just started doing it himself. I was sitting on the couch watching football and I saw him doing it, and I was just like, ‘Holy moly, he is doing it.’
‘He puts the pieces in his mouth and holds the little screwdriver with his nubs and people are blown away by it. I’m so proud. It’s awesome.’
Before: He was taken to the hospital after falling ill with flu-like symptoms. Doctors initially sent him away because they thought it wasn’t serious
Defying the odds: Memphis’ family was told that he wouldn’t make it through the night
Memphis was taken into the hospital in May 2006 after falling ill with flu-like symptoms.
Doctors initially said his condition wasn’t serious and sent Chris away – but later that day the Memphis was rushed back in when his eyes rolled back in his head.
It was then that the family was given the devastating news that Memphis wasn’t likely to make it through the night.
He defied all odds and survived but spent more than three months in intensive care hooked up to wires and machines as medics fought to save him.
‘I was in shock. Doctors said he would be sucking out of a straw for the rest of his life,’ Chris said.
Wants to inspire: Memphis said he’s glad he’s glad he’s an amputee so he can move others
Doing everything for himself: His dad said looking at Memphis, ‘it’s clear he’s not handicapped’
‘That didn’t happen, but they needed to keep the blood pumping to his organs which meant that his fingers, toes, arms and legs turned black and swollen and started to die.’
‘He had to have them amputated and at first I couldn’t wrap my head around it but looking at him now, it’s clear he is not handicapped – we just do things a little differently in our house.’
Memphis uses a wheelchair when going to school but does everything else for himself and even said that he’s glad he’s an amputee so he can inspire others.
It’s an aim which has been encouraged by the No Limits Foundation, a non-profit which runs camps attended by Memphis and other children who have lost their limbs.
Founder Mary Leighton described Memphis as an ‘inspiration’ and said that he always tries to figure out a way to do the activities that he enjoys.
‘He has determination to try any new task that is placed in front of him and no matter what it takes, he tries to figure out a way.’