Her remarkable courage is inspiration and a beacon of hope to others across Northern Ireland.
Little Garvagh girl Rose Doherty captured the hearts of guests at the star-studded Spirit of Northern Ireland awards last Friday when she picked up the U105 Young Persons Award from UTV’s Julian Simmons and boxer Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton.
Brave Rose faced a battle to save her life and rebuild her face when she was just six weeks old.
“We are so proud of her, just so, so proud of her,” her thrilled and tearful mum Orla said when her daughter was announced as the popular winner.
“We are just absolutely blown away, we never expected to win at all.
“It’s mind blowing because it brought it all back to us and we weren’t expecting to relive it all and were so happy that the outcome has been so positive.”
And five-year-old Rose had everyone in stitches by showing off her little manicured nails, saying: “I’m still excited.”
An 11 hour operation saved the life of Rose who was diagnosed with the rare skull condition unicoronal synostosis when she was just six weeks old. Mum Orla, a district nurse, was told her daughter would be deaf and blind within six months and dead within the year if the highly risky procedure was not carried out.
Doctors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital were successfully able to rebuild Rose’s face but there was still the risk of her being left paralysed or suffering from epilepsy.
The 15 finalists and their families were thrilled to meet and pose for pictures with a gallery of TV stars and sporting legends at the Culloden Hotel.
Mingling with the crowd were Corrie favourite ‘Big’ Jim McDonald actor Charlie Lawson, Emmerdale stars Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk, Bashkar Patel aka Rishi Sharma and Michelle Hardwick who plays vet Vanessa Woodfield.
Also present was Coleraine actress Bronagh Waugh, who stars in The Fall.