Girl from Mile Cross, Norwich to meet bionic man for help and support

A four-year-old Norwich girl who lost her legs has been offered help from a man who recently became the first UK patient to receive a new bionic leg prosthetic system.

Grace Matthews, from Bacton Road, Mile Cross, lost her legs below the knees as well as her fingers through meningoccocal septiceamia.

Her grandmother Lyn Matthews asked the Evening News to liaise with Matthew Newbury, after she read about his bionic leg in the paper. She said: 'It would be so useful to Grace and her family if we were ever able to meet Matthew to see his new leg. This might give some idea of what Grace could achieve in the future.'

Mr Newbury, who was born in Norwich and grew up in Attleborough, immediately contacted the paper to say that he would be glad to meet Grace.

He said: 'I will contact her and arrange to go and meet her – hoping I can offer some support or help.'

Grace was rushed to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in January after developing a temperature, sickness and a rash on her body. She had become so ill that she ended up in the paediatric intensive care unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where her heart stopped and she had to be resuscitated.

For the next few days Grace suffered an irregular heartbeat, but her heart recovered, and she was able to return to the family home in March.

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Property developer Mr Newbury, 30, who now lives in London, was aged 15 when he lost his left leg after a motorbike he was a pillion passenger on was struck by a Land Rover.

He spent more than 18 months in various hospitals and rehabilitation centres as doctors battled to save his right leg, and was awarded �2.1m in compensation for the crash in 2004. His new leg enables him to walk upstairs foot-over-foot, walk backwards, and stand for long periods with his knee locked.

The Matthews' family have set up a trust fund for Grace and want to raise as much as they can so when she is fully grown she can buy the best prosthetic legs possible.

Anybody who would like to help with fundraising for Grace can contact her family on 01603 479557 or email

Are you raising money for charity? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email