Battling Sheffield girl Niamh is Nativity star

Showtime: Niamh Coyne appeared in her school's Nativity this year after overcoming health problems. '                     PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY.
Showtime: Niamh Coyne appeared in her school's Nativity this year after overcoming health problems. ' PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY.
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BRAVE Sheffield schoolgirl Niamh Coyne has appeared in her first Nativity as she battles health problems.

The five-year-old double transplant survivor was the star of the show at St Thomas Canterbury Primary School, Meadowhead, when she welcomed parents to the audience this week and also played the part of an innkeeper.

And she was able to enjoy the traditional school event for the first time after a tough year.

Niamh, who had a liver transplant, has twice missed out on a trip to Lapland to see Father Christmas because of chronic bronchitis which has left her taking antibiotics.

Earlier this year doctors also believed she had a tumour behind her eye – although thankfully it turned out to be a cyst.

But through it all plucky Niamh has kept smiling.

Mum Hannah Wilkins, of Totley, said: “In herself, Niamh is well, but obviously there are lots of things still going on. People think children like Niamh get the transplant and go off into the sunset, but she still has her problems and needs a lot of hospital care.

“In herself, she’s like any other five-year-old excited for Christmas.

“She had to miss her Nativity last year, because she had a hospital appointment, so this was the first she’s managed to do.

“Its a proud moment and lovely to see her doing normal stuff.”

Niamh, who celebrates her sixth birthday on Boxing Day, was born with a rare liver condition. She received the all-clear in 2011.

She also enjoyed another first this year when she was able to go on holiday to Disneyland in Florida.

Hannah said: “The reason she hasn’t been able to go to Lapland is because bronchitis and the -18°C temperatures don’t really mix.

“Going on holiday is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years.

“ I was so pleased she was well enough so I could take her.”

n Don’t miss eight pages of Nativity pictures in The Star on Tuesday.