Emily Norris braves a lifetime of health problems and her first day of school

Four-year-old Emily Norris at Costessey Infant School. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Four-year-old Emily Norris at Costessey Infant School. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire - Credit: PA

To look at her now, you wouldn't know that four-year-old Emily Norris has been in and out of hospital all her life, fighting two rare conditions that cost her 70pc of her lung and a kidney.

Emily Norris at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Picture: Handout/PA Wire

Emily Norris at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Picture: Handout/PA Wire - Credit: PA

At just three months old Emily and her parents were told she had congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation, a condition that causes cysts on her lung.

The next few years brought a difficult road for the family, as well as for Emily's two older brothers, Jake, nine, and Dominic, five.

But now, the plucky little girl has started school at Costessey Infant School, joining other children her age and she's determined to show that she's no different from her classmates.

Emily's mum, Nicol Pybus, tells her dauther's story here, in her own words.

Emily and her mum Nicol Pybus. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Emily and her mum Nicol Pybus. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire - Credit: PA


You may also want to watch:


'I went for a 20-week exam when I was pregnant and we were told there was a mass on Emily's lung and kidney. We were given the option to terminate the pregnancy.

'We immediately said no. In my mind it was Emily's decision as to whether or not she could cope when she was born. It wasn't my choice to make.

Most Read

'When she was around three months old she got a chest bug, and got admitted for the first time on Boxing Day. They finally said her condition had come back, or had been missed when she was born. The lung and kidney condition are completely separate, but she had both and we didn't know why.

'She kept getting sick and kept getting bugs and we were in hospital quite a lot. We finally got an MRI scan on a Friday, and they had her admitted to take her lung out at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on the next Tuesday.

'The Sick Children's Trust gave me a place to stay while she had surgery and they've been absolutely brilliant. I didn't cry the whole time she was in hospital until they put her in my arms when she woke up. That was it, I was gone. I thought: 'I've got her through this, I can cry now, I'm allowed.'

'When she came home we were still a bit scared, really. She had an open wound and we didn't know how her body would react. She bounced back really quickly and we were so happy she started school with everyone else her own age. We didn't have to defer her a year – she was adamant that she was going to school.

'She wants to look like every child her age and doesn't want to be different, even though she has a tube and weighs only about 24 pounds. She'll speak her mind, she's not one to hold back. With things like that, she's just like every other little girl.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus