Luke Mortimer's Project

The Objective

Luke Mortimer was just seven years old when, in December 2019, he and his family were told the devasting news that he would lose both his arms after he contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Within a few days, he lost both legs at the knee as well and is now a quad amputee.

After Luke came out of hospital, the family moved to a bungalow in North Yorkshire, which had previously been adapted for a man who was paralysed from the waist down. However, upon his passing, his widow oversaw work to rip out some of the adaptations – so this project will see work to reinstate some of the original adaptations and some significant renovation work to make life easier for Luke.


On 13th December 2019, Luke fell ill and was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with type Y meningococcal meningitis – a rare but serious bacterial infection that causes the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed. Almost immediately, he was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, as septicaemia had set in.

After the removal of his limbs, Luke has undertaken many more surgeries to cover what had survived with a covering of skin. 50% of his body had no skin and so the remaining 50% has had to be donor. To get him healed and to minimise infection he went to theatre Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to have painful skin grafts and dressing changed. In between these surgeries there was physio, psychology, occupational therapy and lots and lots of doctors and consultants prodding, poking and checking. Luke had 23 surgeries over a 10-week period.

He spent nearly five months in hospital before he was able go home.

Since then, Luke’s story has been nothing short of remarkable. He has endured endless sessions of physiotherapy and rehabilitation with a trademark beaming smile. He has learned to walk – and run – on prosthetics. And, thanks to fundraising and donations from an army of well-wishers, he has received the first of his robotic ‘hero’ arms to allow him to do more for himself. The cost is approaching £15,000, and they have to be replaced every two years while Luke is still growing.

His family have been overwhelmed by the support and all the different fundraising activities that continue to take place for Luke.

Luke has become something of a celebrity and recently featured in a film that was broadcast on BBC’s Children in Need last November, where he talked about his challenges and how Skipton charity SELFA – which gets funding from Children in Need – has helped him and his family.

Rugby-mad Luke – who was recently chosen as the mascot for the England v South Africa game in the Autumn Nations Series – is about to star in a documentary series about the human body that is scheduled to air on Channel 4 this April.

The Project

Luke’s dad Adam is a builder, and although he has started work on making adaptations to the family home, he reached out to Band of Builders for help.

The project requires extensive externals, including rewiring; replastering; and insulation to bedrooms, the kitchen and hallways. One of the key elements is underfloor heating, as Luke and his older brother Harry spend a lot of time on the floor.


Late May 2023


The location of Luke Mortimer's project is Embsay, North Yorkshire

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