Published: 15:50, 10 July 2019
| Updated: 15:52, 10 July 2019
A young girl born with a life-long condition was invited to spend a day with royalty.
Millie Allingham was just one of three children to be invited by Her Royal Highness Kate Middleton to celebrate the grand unveiling of the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
The eight-year-old from Paddock Wood was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at just one-month-old after being rushed to Evelina Children's Hospital in London.
Her mum Nicky Allingham said: "Millie got admitted to Pembury hospital when she was just three weeks and after a few days there, they said they thought Millie had something wrong with her kidneys.
"After a week of being at Pembury Millie became very poorly we were taken in an emergency ambulance to the Evelina and they gave us the diagnosis. "
After discovering what was wrong, the Paddock Wood Primary School pupil was medically managed under the care of the hospital until she was two and half years old before being treated through dialysis.
In 2013, just two days before her third birthday, Millie underwent a kidney transplant thanks to her mum, who donated one of her own.
Mrs Allingham said: "I am a living donor and although she will need another one at some point she is doing really well since the surgery.
"Typically a transplant lasts up to 15 years but only her body will decide how long it lasts."
Millie is also paralysed on the right side of her body, a condition known as hemiplegia.
The 47-year-old stay at home mum added: "We don't know exactly when it happened, but doctors think that within the first few weeks of her life she suffered a stroke.
"She was very poorly and that is what caused the hemiplegia."
Since her diagnosis Millie has been a patient of Evelina, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is patron of. So when the hospital was asked to select three children to spend the day with her at Hampton Court, Millie was top of the list.
During the event, Kate Middleton joined patients for special outdoor activities in her Back to Nature concept garden including looking for insects, exploring dens and a treasure hunt.
The garden, which features a waterfall, bee-friendly wildflower meadow and a pond, was showcased at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.
The design has been developed to create opportunities for children and families to interact with nature and is double the size of the original.
Mrs Allingham said: “I really enjoyed speaking to The Duchess. She was very warm and personable. She talked about how well Millie did during the treasure hunt, and she was very interested in the care she has received at Evelina. I told her about Millie’s transplant and that she
always enjoys coming to the hospital.”
Millie said: “The Duchess was really nice and friendly. I asked her what Charlotte and George’s favourite part of the garden is, and she said they really like the waterfall. She also said it’s her favourite part of the garden, and it’s the part I liked the best too.”
More by this authorJess Sharp