RHEAGAN Hendry is a young woman on a mission.
The 21-year-old, from Lytham, is hoping to help other women and girls, in memory of her mum.
Most people will be familiar with the story of Rheagan’s mum Denise – wife of former footballer and Blackpool FC manager Colin – who died in July 2009.
Now Rheagan has set up a charity in her mum’s name, to help those left with physical or psychological scars by negligence pre or post cosmetic surgery.
Mum-of-four Denise was left with horrendous injuries in 2002 after botched liposuction surgery at the private Broughton Park clinic, in Preston. She endured several corrective operations and finally contracted meningitis and died at Salford Royal Hospital.
Rheagan, who has a five-month-old daughter River, said: “I never want anyone to go through what my mum and my family went through. I set up the foundation to provide support and aftercare for those suffering, like my mum. My mum’s ordeal was terrible, but I wanted to do something positive in her name. It’s so hard for people who have put their trust and their body in someone else’s hands.
“My dream is to set up a special clinic to help people with treatment, physiotherapy, advice and support for families.
“That was one of the things – support for the family. I was about 12, and there was a two and a four year old too, and I don’t remember anybody asking if my dad was okay.
“We also hope to be able to help with financial advice. It’s not just the physical problems, it’s psychological as well.”
Rheagan said losing her mum changed her life completely. “I had to re-think my future. I’d been considering something like this for a while, but after the inquest, it just felt right.”
As well as the charity, Rheagan has set up a natural beauty pageant – to promote healthy girls who are happy with their bodies.
Heats are being held for the Miss Natural North West competition and the final takes place on July 10 – the second anniversary of Denise’s death – at The Villa, Wrea Green.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t enhance what they’ve got – a bit of fake tan or false nails. But it’s nice to see these girls showing how beautiful they are, inside and out.
“I’d never tell anyone whether they should or shouldn’t have cosmetic surgery – that’s not my place. I just want to raise awareness of the risks and the pressure girls are under.
“There are girls of 16 booking boob jobs and teenagers suffering from eating disorders.
“This is about showing how we can look after ourselves, and use what we have to look beautiful, instead of going under the knife.”
For more details, log onto www.missnaturalnorthwest.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org