Louise can’t wait to visit the Palace

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At just 17 years old, Coleraine school girl Louise Greer is the youngest person from Northern Ireland to be named on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Louise, a pupil at North Coast Integrated College, lost her legs and part of her left arm to meningitis when she was just two years old.

Last week the brave teenager, gained a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours.

As a toddler, Louise, spent three months in hospital battling Meningitis, doctors believed she had no chance of survival.

Since then Louise had gone on to lead a normal life, and has her sights set on the 2016 Paralympics, after being selected for Team Ireland.

Louise is a equestrian enthusiast, and has been a member of the RDA for over ten years.

In that time Louise has represented Coleraine at the regional championships and has been selected for the Irish Paralympics team.

Despite her disability, Louise does her bit to help others and is involved with the Meningitis UK charity.

Speaking about her British Empire Medal honour, the teenager said: “I am still sky high,” she joked.

“I have already started looking for an outfit for my visit to London, which I think will be a real family affair.”

Looking ahead to 2016, Louise added: “I am training as hard as I can at the minute.

“I go once a month to Wicklow for a weekend training session, then I train a few times at home, so it is all go. I couldn’t participate in the London 2012 games as I was too young, so I have a second chance this time around.”

Louise, who studies travel and tourism, says she has had lots of well wishes from friends and family: “I still can’t believe it myself. It is a real honour, I just can’t believe it,”