Published: 07:00, 22 July 2017
Many little girls dream of being a princess, and five-year-old Tiffany Halliday is no exception. She loves dressing up and has taken part in natural beauty pageants.
“She’s a natural,” says mum Catherine, or ‘Cat’. “She’s not paraded like a Barbie doll – she’s just a happy little girl who has won through and shared a bit of limelight at events like Miss UK Empress and Miss Heart of Kent.”
At these playful events, however, few applauding this pretty little strawberry blonde would have known she has hearing difficulties and undergone heart surgery – with the prospect of more to come.
Tiffany’s health problems are shared by twin brothers – three-year-old Maxwell and Alfie. All three are regular visitors to the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.
Small wonder then that busy mum Cat, 29, is sometimes in need of brief respite. And in a round-about way, Tiffany’s make-believe world helped to bring one about – with her love of TV hit Once Upon a Time leading to mum meeting her favourite actor and getting a small role in his latest film.
“Tiffany loves that show – especially Rumpelstiltskin, the part played by Robert Carlyle,” says Cat. “We met him in Blackpool and Tiffany was in absolute awe. We met him again in Glasgow and the link was established. A month or two later I had a tiny part in the film Trainspotting 2.
“Filming was from 4pm to 1am and I’m on screen for about three seconds.”
Tiffany, attends St Edward’s RC School, Sheerness. But the progress of the twins is causing concern. Both have severe hearing difficulties, heart problems, delayed speech,and irregular sleep and eating patterns. Maxwell also has a high pain threshold – unable to feel pain even from serious injuries.
Cat remains upbeat, despite the long periods the children spend in hospital. “Tiffany can enjoy being a little princess and the boys are happy in their rough and tumble. We make every day count,” she said.
Tiffany was in Tenterden earlier this month, where she presented £100 she’s helped to raise for a hospice.
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