BRAVE Ruby Wright is enjoying her first week at nursery – something her parents feared they may never see.
The three-year-old Sunderland youngster has overcome the odds after being born with a serious heart defect.
Despite numerous operations and hospital stays, Ruby is now leading a normal life.
There were tears in the eyes of mum Laura Robinson and dad Daniel Wright, 31, of Springwell, as they dropped their daughter off at Little Angels Nursery in Grindon.
The proud parents have dubbed her “a fighter” for all she has endured during her short life.
Laura, 30, who works at Lush Tanning and Beauty Studio, in Hylton Road, said: “We didn’t think we would see this day.
“But now Ruby is as strong as an ox and she’s been through the summer without any chest infections, which is brilliant.”
Ruby was born with a ventricular septal defect, meaning that she had a hole in the muscular partition in between the two chambers which pump blood to her heart.
A pulmonary artery band was fitted to her heart when she was just four weeks old, and she also suffered from bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia throughout the first few months of her life.
As a result, she grew at a much slower rate compared with children of the same age.
Shortly before Christmas 2011, the tot underwent a complicated procedure at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, to repair the hole.
She is now living the normal life of a little girl, regularly going on trips out with her friends and family, which includes big sister Millie, seven, who goes to St Cuthbert’s School.
Ruby is still susceptible to picking up illnesses at times but has enjoyed a fun summer, taking part in plenty of activities and days out.
“The doctors have told us to keep her on the antibiotics because there is a bug which is dormant in her throat,” added Laura.
“We are just happy to have had a great summer where she hasn’t had one illness and she can start nursery feeling fine.”
Daniel and friends completed a coast-to-coast bike ride this summer in aid of the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman.
They raised nearly £1,000 after doing the journey in just 13 hours.
l To donate go, to www.justgiving.com/ruby4chuf.