For every year she’s been alive, Sadie Newby has undergone major surgery.
Nine operations in nine years has taken its toll on the Washington youngster whose stomach has been left “like a patchwork quilt” due to constant procedures.
The twin suffers from regular blockages in her bowel which can only be removed with surgery but doctors say, after her last surgery in August, her body has undergone so much trauma that they don’t want to operate again.
Instead, the Washington schoolgirl has to take daily medications in a bid to try and prevent blockages from occurring.
Sadie, and her twin Courtney, were never expected to survive birth after being born 25 weeks into mum Carolanne Hammond’s pregnancy.
Though Courtney went on to thrive after being born prematurely, Sadie, who weighed just 700 grams at birth, has suffered one health complication after another.
Carolanne, 26, of Donwell, said: “Little did the doctors realise they were both born fighters. Sadie got a life-threatening illness at four weeks old called necrotising enterocolitis (the death of bowel tissue).
“She still only weighed 2lb2oz and I had to watch as my tiny baby was wheeled away to theatre.”
Soon after the operation, Sadie’s heart stopped and she had to be resuscitated. But she once more beat the odds.
Though the Wessington Primary School pupil has to contend with a number of conditions - including pancreatic insufficiency, a number of bowel conditions and vitamin D deficiency - she takes it all in her stride.
And Carolanne, who is also mum to Abigail, six, and Archie, two, says she makes her proud every day.
“She deals with so much every day, but she never complains. While other kids at school are eating sweets, Sadie has never been able to do that because she can’t absorb the fat in food. She has to take five tablets before she ever eats anything to help her body digest it,” explained the mum who is married to HMRC worker Michael, 32.
In recognition of Sadie’s strength in the face of adversity her mum has nominated her for a Child of Courage award in this year’s Pride of Wearside.
“My girl is the bravest child I know,” she said. “Her tummy is like a patchwork quilt from all the surgery but nothing fazes her. The courage and determination she shows every day is remarkable.”
Judges will meet this week to decide who will be short-listed in the awards.
The winners, who are decided by the judges not by number of nominations, will be announced at the Stadium of Light on November 20.