A YOUNG quadruple amputee who holds the world breast-stroke swimming record has been named as a finalist for a national award.

Ellie May Challis, 14, from Little Clacton, who lost her arms and legs to meningitis as a baby.

But the resilient swimmer has demonstrated talent and determination, smashing the record in the British Para Swimming International meet in April.

She is now targeting next year’s Para Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Because of her swimming achievements, which include holding the British and European butterfly record, Ellie has reached the last four of the Young Hero in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons.

Ellie is also training hard to become a top para snowboard champion as well, and could be competing in both summer and winter Para Olympic Games in the near future.

Ellie was just 16 months old when she contracted a deadly strain of meningitis.

She developed sepsis and doctors had to remove her legs just above her knees and her arms below her elbows to save her life.

Dad Paul said: “Despite growing up with her disabilities she has made tragedy so easy.

“It has been a privilege just being part of her life.

“She is such a lovely positive girl who always has a smile on her face.

“Along with my other children I took her swimming twice a week but it took Ellie about three years to become proficient in the pool but by the time she was eight she was swimming seriously with a disabled swimming club.”

Since then as a member of the Colchester Phoenix Swimming Club and with help of the British coaches she has gone on to smash record after record.

On artificial ski slopes Ellie has been training with instructors from charity Disability Snowsport UK which prepared her for her first snowboarding holiday in Andorra last March with her 19-year-old sister Tai’la.

She is believed to be the first quadruple amputee in the UK to master snowboarding and one of only a few in the world.

Ellie said: “I love snowboarding and so much wanted to go on a winter sports holiday with my sister. While I have been learning I have fallen over a lot but I think that’s fairly normal.”

The Amplifon awards are in their fourth year and celebrate truly remarkable people and pets.

The finals awards luncheon will be held at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, on Tuesday, October 15.