A little girl from the Midlands was named among Britain's bravest children in a moving, star-studded ceremony yesterday.
Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, presented the accolades at the Woman's Own Children of Courage Awards, now in its 34th year.
The winners received their awards from Mrs Brown before a celebrity-packed congregation at London's Westminster Abbey. Among them was Ellie Bishop, seven, from Oldbury.
When Ellie contracted meningitis in February last year, doctors needed to amputate both her legs above the knee, her right arm up to the elbow and three fingers on her left hand.
But Ellie, who was nominated by her aunt, has learned to adjust.
Her mother Karen Dunnaway, 25, said: "She has coped really well. She's a super-star.
"She spent about three months in hospital. It did feel like three years. It was hard at first because of the risk of infection. We had to stay in her room."
Ms Dunnaway described the staff at Birmingham Children's Hospital who cared for Ellie as "fantastic".
She said of Ellie's award: "She deserves it. It is a devastating thing that has happened to her."
Ellie, who plans to have a "girlie night" and visit the London Eye during her trip vowed: "I'm still going to live my life."
The Ellie Bishop Trust has been set up and has a website - www.elliebishop.org
The event recognised children who have shown outstanding bravery and courage in difficult circumstances during the past year.
Many in the congregation were in tears as they heard how the youngsters, aged between six and 13, have shown determination and bravery in the face of adversity. Many have performed acts of extraordinary heroism while others have suffered extreme pain as a result of a disability or illness.
During the service I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! star Cerys Matthews gave a reading of the Christmas story, Luke 2:1-16.
She said afterwards: "I'm here to honour the courage of these great children and their families. It is a real honour for me to be here. I think the superstars here today are the children. It's very inspiring."
The former Catatonia star said she loved hearing Shayne Ward sing during the ceremony, adding: "That's when the tears started. I wish I could do this sort of thing every day."
King of the Jungle Christopher Biggins was surrounded by children asking for autographs after the service.
The actor said the awards were "extraordinary" and had him in "floods of tears".
This year the event introduced a new special award named Family of Courage, which was received by 10-year-old Steven Tomlinson, whose mother is inspirational fund-raiser Jane Tomlinson. Mrs Tomlinson lost her seven-year battle with cancer in September after raising more than £1.75 million for cancer and children's charities.
The event is one of the longest-running award ceremonies dedicated specifically to recognising the achievements of youngsters. Ellie Bishop with TV presenter Kate Garraway, wearing her Woman's Own Children of Courage Award at the presentation ceremony in Westminster Abbey.