Battling girl’s proud milestone

Ellie Bird, who has a congenital heart defect, has started secondary school.  She is pictured with mum Janet Bird.

Ellie Bird, who has a congenital heart defect, has started secondary school. She is pictured with mum Janet Bird.

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A PROUD mother has described her daughter’s first day at secondary school as “something I never thought would come.”

Janet Bird’s daughter Ellie was born with a congenital heart defect which left her fighting for her life as a baby, but this week joined her new classmates at Hodgson Academy, in Poulton.

Ellie, 11, began on Tuesday and today Janet told The Gazette: “I was really proud of her and it’s another huge milestone.

“I was really nervous for her but it’s yet another day I never thought would come.”

Ellie was born five weeks premature and forced to undergo a gruelling 10-hour operation when she was just nine days old, but despite ongoing health problems excelled during her time at Breck Primary School in Poulton.

Janet says Ellie is now doing her best to make the transition into secondary education.

She said: “She’s gone from being the oldest in the school to one of the babies again.

“It’s a bit scary but she’s done well.

“She’s very sociable and easy to get on with so I’m sure she’ll make new friends there.”

Ellie has already taken a shine to food technology, which is fast becoming her favourite subject.

Janet also praised staff at the school for keeping an eye on her daughter.

She said: “She keeps her medication with her now which is a big responsibility for her.

“They already recognise her and stop to ask if she’s alright.”