Millie De Vere with mum Sam. Picture: Chris Gray
A young girl is looking forward to her first magical Christmas after overcoming a devastating illness that left her unable to walk, talk or feed herself.
Last year, little Millie De Vere was unable to experience the excitement of the big day after suffering a serious brain injury.
Her parents, Sam and Louie, had been hoping to have their first proper Christmas, with Millie old enough to enjoy the day.
But that was taken away when she suddenly started fitting at 18 months old.
Millie was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital where she continued to have fits for several hours. Half of A&E had to be shut so more doctors could help her.
Her family, of Cygnet Road, Lordswood, were told Millie would be severely brain damaged if she survived.
Millie continued having up to 30 seizures a day and she eventually lost the ability to smile.
"Last year should have been Millie's first proper Christmas where she enjoyed playing with toys," said 22-year-old Sam.
"Her brain injury meant she had no interest in things. I took her to see Santa and she just sat there."
Sick little Millie De Vere in hospital. Picture: Chris Gray
Millie went to The Children's Trust in Tadworth, Surrey, the UK's leading charity for children with brain injuries.
After receiving therapy, Millie - now three - became stronger and began to sit unaided.
"She can now feed herself but is still in a wheelchair.
"If she didn't go, we would have had a little girl who just existed," said Sam.
Kathy, Sam, Millie and Paul De Vere. Picture: Chris Gray
"When I took her to see Santa this year she was so excited and grabbed the present. It's a miracle.
"We don't know what the future holds and how her condition will change, but right now it's all about cherishing every special moment, every achievement and step.
"This Christmas will be so precious. The Children's Trust has given us our little girl back.
"I can't wait for Christmas and to be able to give her gifts and things I know she will love."
Millie De Vere with her granddad Paul. Picture: Chris Gray