Big-hearted Jessica is ‘amazing’

Jessica McGlone is busy fundraising to help others, pictured from left are Rebecca McGlone, 13, Jessica and Mum Heather (w130725-2b)
Jessica McGlone is busy fundraising to help others, pictured from left are Rebecca McGlone, 13, Jessica and Mum Heather (w130725-2b)

Talking to Jessica McGlone is just like talking to any other nine-year-old.

She is full of tales of school and hobbies, the things which keep her young life busy.

And yet Jessica is a remarkable little girl.

Born with a shortened arm and fused fingers, she has had numerous operations in her short life and has more to face when she’s older.

But she bears all this with cheefulness and a complete lack of self pity.

“I enjoy school and being with my friends,” she said.

“My best friend Tagan said she didn’t care about my hand and wanted to be friends with me.”

She is stoical in the face of adversity and doesn’t let her disability stop her from doing anything.

So much so that she and her family have raised nearly £5,000 in the past few years for the limb reconstruction unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where Jessica has been treated.

Sitting in their Hardwick Crescent home in Worksop, mum Heather, 33, said it was sometimes difficult when Jessica was a baby because people would stare.

Surgeons at Sheffield Children’s Hospital managed to create three fingers for Jessica from her fused hand and she has a metal plate in it now.

She has also had operations on her forearm, which only has one bone where normally there are two.

Despite this Jessica belongs to a gymnastics club and also does dance production classes.

She has also just earned her 100m swimming badge.

She has broken her arm twice through tripping over, and has also broken her collar bone.

Heather said: “It is a bit scary watching her do gymnastics, but I’m glad she has the confidence to do it.”

“She never moans about her hand and will carry on doing something until she has to ask for help.”

She said they had hand rails on the stairs when Jessica was younger, and they put an extra handlebar on her bike.

Jessica is a pupil at Ryton Park Primary School and her teacher Alison Taylor was full of praise for her, calling her “absolutely amazing”.

She said: “Jessica oozes self confidence and is happy with her self image. Nothing ever appears to be a problem and she will join in all activities.”

“She has a can-do attitude and once she decides she’s going to do something she carries it through.”

“She is a delightful pupil and we are proud to have her at Ryton Park.”

Heather and husband Jason, 40, also have two teenage children, 16-year-old Jamie and 13-year-old Rebecca.

Jessica said they looked after her and that Jamie had taught her to play basketball.

Jessica’s auntie Marie Townrow has run races for them and they also hold raffles in the family business, Jaycee’s PCs Ltd on Gateford Road.

Jessica is proud of her improving handwriting and is clearly not bothered about her hand. “We just call it my little hand,” she said.