A mother has spoken of her joy after her daughter won the recent Christmas Cuties competition in The Visitor.
Matilda Harris, nine-months-old, who has Down’s syndrome, was chosen as the winner out of hundreds of entries for her cute picture with Father Christmas.
Matilda’s mother Kathryn said: “It’s the first competition I’ve entered her for and it felt fantastic that she won.”
Kathryn Savage, 42, and her partner Tom Harris, 41, were unaware Matilda had Down’s Syndrome until 36 hours after her birth.
Kathryn said: “It was a shock. She was found to have hypermobility and she was quite floppy.
The genetics clinic did some tests and it was confirmed.
“It completely turned everything upside down. Luckily, Matilda has none of the health problems associated with Downs Syndrome, such as problems with the heart and bowel.
“We are very lucky. We’ve had our fair share of going in and out of hospital but she’s an extremely happy baby.
“She sleeps right through the night.”
Kathryn, who also has a son Jude, aged two, said: “I wanted to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome as Matilda has it.
“When women are diagnosed as having a Downs Syndrome child, 96% are terminated. There is no need to terminate. There is nothing else really wrong with Matilda.”
Kathryn, of Cleveleys Avenue, Scale Hall, has found online Facebook groups and blogs a great support to help her deal with Matilda’s condition.
She is also a member of a Down’s Syndrome group in Lancaster.
She said: “The group meet the first Sunday of every month between 10am and 12pm.
“The group have been a massive support. I also attend the Lune Park Children’s Centre for children with additional needs.
“On Facebook you can chat with other parents in the UK and worldwide. Even in the middle of the night there is always someone online.
“Parents are on there and they give help and advice.
Kerry added: “Matilda wasn’t entered as a child with Down’s Syndrome.
“She was included the same as everyone else and was still picked as the cutest baby.”
“It’s nice to know she is treated the same as everyone else.”
Matilda wins a framed canvas and a bag of festive goodies.