A little girl in a battle to save her remaining sight been chosen as one of the Mail’s deserving runners up in the Dear Santa competition.
Brave Hartlepool youngster Lauren Charlton is registered blind and at just five-years-old has already underwent numerous surgeries to try and save the little vision she has.
The lovely little girl from Rift House in the town, has a genetic condition - which her mother also has - called Aniridia.
The condition is the absence of the iris, which has caused her to have severely impaired vision.
Lauren, who attends Sunnyside Academy, Middlesbrough, also suffers from Glaucoma.
She underwent cataract surgery at eight weeks old and had the operation in her second eye at 12 weeks old.
Since then she has underwent four laser treatments and in May this year underwent a corneal transplant.
Then in July this year she had draining tube surgery for her Glaucoma.
Doctors believed her surgeries had improved her sight, but then her family were dealt with the devastating blow that Lauren had suffered a bleed on the front of her eye.
It meant that Lauren would remain impared, but despite it all, her mum Louise Charlton, 41, said she remains a happy and bright little girl who has excelled in school.
And now her bravery has been rewarded with a £50 Argos voucher, courtesy of Utility Alliance. She was chosen as a worthy winner after writing a letter to Santa telling him why she was deserving of a special present this Christmas.
Her proud mum said: “Lauren likes adult company and has a great sense of humour.
“She has liked books since she was small and is learning the piano and she has great rhythm. “At school she is learning braille and since she started in September she has learnt 15 letters of the braille alphabet.
“She might have another operation in the New Year and already she has had so many general anaesthetics this year.
“I jut wanted her to be rewarded for her bravery as she has been through such a battle to save her sight.
“She is so chuffed to have won and will probably spend the voucher on a Barbie.”