Prayers offered for teen amputee

An Invercargill teenager with meningococcal disease has had her legs amputated below the knee.

A Dunedin Hospital spokeswoman confirmed yesterday Sara Loo, a year 13 James Hargest College pupil, remained in intensive care in a serious condition.

She was transferred to Dunedin Hospital from Southland Hospital on May 13.

Invercargill Central Baptist Church senior pastor Brian Kenning told the Otago Daily Times the amputations were carried out on Tuesday.

Church members were now praying the infection in her right hand did not become more serious, he said.

The family was in an "extremely challenging place".

Mr Kenning said he knew Sara as a member of the church.

James Hargest College principal Andy Wood said Sara was a "popular, well liked young woman".

Pupils were deeply worried and felt shocked and helpless about their classmate's situation, he said.

The college had sought advice from Public Health South and advised parents of precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

A Facebook website lists hundreds of messages of support.

On Thursday, Sara's father, Robert, posted an update that she was "still groggy from the sedatives but is becoming more and more aware of what has happened".

"The next while will be especially difficult for Sara as she comes to terms [with] the implications of what has happened, but we are building on her can-do spirit, and the fact that with all of us she can and will overcome any obstacle."

Otago and Southland medical officer of health Dr Marion Poore said no other notifications of the disease had been received since Sara's earlier this month.



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