A girl who underwent life-saving heart surgery has been crowned Accrington Carnival Princess.

At just four days old Jasmine Baron developed severe breathing problems and had to undergo a six-hour operation to correct a narrow valve in her heart.
 
At the time, doctors told worried mum Kathryn if she hadn’t had the procedure, she could have died within a week.

But now, the eight-year-old St John with St Augustine’s pupil, has landed the honour of becoming the town’s Carnival Princess after a close final heat. She will ride in a car at the front of the procession on Carnival day.

Kathryn, 39, said: “She is ecstatic to have won, she will be up there with the Carnival Queen on the day and it’s just fantastic.

“I’ll be honest, I had tears in my eyes when she won as it was just something we entered her in for fun. I just told her to enjoy herself on the day, which she did.

“In a way, it’s like an inspiration for people, that good things can happen to people if you give them time.”

Kathryn added: “She said she was quite nervous being up there on stage, but she really enjoyed it and saw a few of her friends. She can be quite outgoing and she likes to try new things.

She’s  already told me about the dress she wants to wear on the day. She definitely knows her own mind.”

Jasmine’s birth in May 2003 saw Kathryn jetting back to Accrington from Botswana where she had been working as a teacher.  She said: “Since the original operation, she has been fine. About two years ago, there were some concerns about the narrowing of the arch, but it seems normal. She has to have annual check-ups to make sure everything is okay, but all is well with her.”