SOME of Sunderland’s bravest children were honoured at the Pride of Wearside awards.
We were inundated with nominations for this year’s Child of Courage award and judges couldn’t decide on just one child to receive the honour.
Instead, they awarded trophies to six of the nominees: Frankie and Kayne Mould, Heather Smith, Layla Davis, Bryant Hackett and Bradley Lowery.
In their matching suits, brothers Frankie and Kayne from Hylton Castle looked like little stars.
Frankie, two, spent weeks fighting for his life after his body was attacked by a flesh-eating bug earlier this year.
Put into a coma by worried medics, surgeons were forced to remove skin from his back, chest, and one leg.
Kayne, three, who himself was born with a life-threatening hole in his abdomen, remained by his little brother’s side the whole time, helping him on the road to recovery.
Proud mum Lucy Dove, 26, said: “It’s such an honour for both boys to be recognised.
“I can’t believe how quickly Frankie has recovered and I don’t think he would have been able to do that without Kayne.”
Fellow Child of Courage winner Heather Smith has been through more in her nine years than most adults.
The Thorney Close youngster, who already had complex special needs, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year.
Even though her treatment is painful, she always makes a special effort to go to school, Hasting Hill Academy, and never complains.
“I can’t wait to take my award into school,” said Heather. “Then I’m going to put the award in my bedroom.”
Little Layla Davis stole everyone’s hearts at the awards.
The 18-month-old from Hall Farm has spent more of her life in hospital than at home after being born with a range of heart problems.
But, despite undergoing a series of gruelling procedures, her infectious smile and zest for life continues to inspire those around her.
Mum Amanda said: “It’s been a really emotional night, hearing what everybody has gone through, everyone deserves an award. “Layla’s condition is just life for us so it’s overwhelming when you hear how many hearts she’s touched.”
Previous Child of Courage winner Kian Armstrong, four, from Castletown stepped on stage to collect the award on behalf of his friend Bradley Lowery.
Bradley, two, from Blackhall, East Durham, who is fighting neuroblastoma, was in intensive care so was too poorly to attend.
Unfortunately, winner Bryant Hackett was also not well enough to collect his award.
The 13-year-old from Hylton Castle has spent months in hospital after going into liver failure in October last year.
But he has been praised for how well he has coped with his ordeal.