It’s not every day you meet an inspirational little girl with an incredible spirit and such a positive attitude - but I had the privilege to meet one recently.
Ten-year-old Elise Powell is on the road to recovery after undergoing a life-changing operation at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool, as reported in the Arbroath Herald last month.
Elise was born with Crouzon syndrome, a rare condition that affects the fusion of certain skull bones and prevents it from growing normally.
After going under the knife already for two major operations, she could have been forgiven for feeling sorry for herself as she faced then recuperates from a third one, during which a special metal frame was fixed to her skull.
Not one bit of it. Instead, Elise is back home and is focusing on the day in October she gets the frame off. So what is she looking forward to most?
“McDonald’s!!,” she laughs, “...and Chinese ... and lots of nice things to eat.
“Sometimes I forget I have the brace on. I tried to give my dog Scooby a cuddle the other day and dad reminded me i had my brace on. I’m looking forward to hugging Scooby as well when it comes off.”
Mum Nikkola, dad Danny, a former professional footballer with Arbroath, Montrose, St Johnstone and Brechin City, and brother Shaun are all delighted with the remarkable progress Elise is making since the operation.
Elise has even taken the time to send a card a present to another little girl who faces the same operation as her.
Dad Danny says: “We are all delighted with the progress Elise is making and she has been so brave through the whole process.
“It’s been a hard time but I want to thank everyone for their support. You can see the difference the brace has made already, it’s brilliant, and we are all looking forward now as a family to her getting it off.”
Mum Nikkola adds: “Elise is a special girl and has a great spirit, we’re very proud.
“We want to thank all the doctors and staff at Alder Hey for everything they’ve done for Elise, everyone has been incredible.”
Check out Elise and her parents on video at www.arbroathherald.co.uk