Sleaford four-year-old Ivy Mitchell is a candidate for our Overcoming Adversity award.
Ivy underwent open heart surgery just over a year ago but suffered kidney failure, finally recovering enough to come off a ventilator in May, explains proud mum Dorne.
She became well enough to start at William Alvey School in September while contending with the genetic condition DiGeorge’s syndrome (22q11 deletion) which can cause heart defects, learning difficulties, a cleft palate and other complications.
She can only attend school part time due to infection risk and requires a tracheostomy to breathe, but Ivy has learnt to cope with the normal school day and make lots of friends.
Just before Christmas Ivy helped organise a non-uniform day for the MAX Appeal which supports families with children with DiGeorge’s syndrome and took part in the school’s special assembly about keeping Glenfield heart hospital open.
Dorne said: “She still defies everyone by being with us and going to a mainstream school. We could not be more proud of her.”