Brave youngster Imogen Carr has amazed the world by taking her first steps on a prosthetic limb - just 10 weeks after she had to have part of her left leg amputated.
The seven-year-old from South Shields was today hailed as “an inspirational little girl” by her mum Jeni Carr, 27.
Imogen’s incredible efforts have put her in the running for a Child of Courage trophy at this year’s Best of South Tyneside Awards - and no-one would be more delighted than Jeni if Imogen was to pick up the title.
Jeni added: “I keep telling her how proud I am, but I think if she was to win this award she would truly start believing how amazing she is.”
Imogen was born with club feet and vital tendons missing. She had bilateral club feet and amniotic band syndrome.
Her mum added: “She has had many, many operations to try and correct her left foot and has lived pretty much her whole life in a cast up until May this year, when sadly she had to have her left foot amputated from below her knee.
She’s had many operations to try and correct her left foot and has lived pretty much her whole life in cast up until May this year when sadly she had to have her left foot amputated below her knee.Jeni Carr
“She has always just got on with it and has dealt with things in such a courageous manner.”
Imogen went back to school just two weeks after the amputation - and one of those weeks was the half-term holidays.
“She refused to sit in her wheelchair all day and shuffled along the classroom on her bottom. She even took part in P.E. She was determined to not let anything get her down,” said Jeni.
The amazing youngster even told her family she would rather have her condition than someone else have to have it.
Determined Imogen has spent 30 minutes a day practising walking on her new prosthetic limb with the help of a frame. And her spirit has paid dividends.
She walked in public with the help of the frame for the first time in public at a recent South Tyneside funday and Jeni admitted to being emotional as she watched the momentous achievement.
She added: “We keep trying to tell her how amazing she is.
“She is wise beyond her years. She can be shy at times, but she is bubbly and confident and she has to be, bless her.”
A big year beckons for Imogen, who starts at Monkton Junior School in September. Little brother Jack, four, starts at Monkton Infants as well.
In December, Imogen could face another operation, as the bone in her stump has grown, said Jeni.
But Jeni and her husband Christopher, 31, will be hoping she will be the proud owner of a Child of Courage award by then.
Imogen joins a growing list of nominees but we are still appealing for more.
Is there a role model, a carer, or a child, who you think shows incredible courage? Do you want to honour a community stalwart who goes the extra mile to help others without asking for acknowledgement?
Is there a child of achievement who has gone that extra length to achieve their targets?
Or is there a young stage star who would deserve to win the Young Performer of the Year category?
We are calling on you to put forward nominations for everything from sports team of the year to entrepreneur of the year, and community group to fundraiser.
This year, the grand finale will be held at the Roker Hotel, where we will be revealing the winners on Wednesday, September 19.
It promises to be a fantastic occasion and we can look forward to it with the backing of a string of fantastic sponsors.
The Best of South Tyneside awards, this year, have the backing of Barbour; Harlow Printing Limited; JML; BT South Tyneside; Northumbrian Water and the Customs House.
To nominate please send us the full name, phone number and email address, of the person you wish to nominate and the category you want to nominate them for, along with a brief description of why they are worthy of an award.
And if you are submitting an entry in the Young Performer category, send us a video of them performing.
Send your entries by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.
Neighbour of the Year.
Greener South Tyneside.
Child of Achievement.
Fundraiser of the Year.
Entrepreneur of the Year.
Carer of the Year.
Sports Team of the Year/Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Student of the Year.
Volunteer of the Year.
Child of Courage.
Young Performer of the Year.