TWO-year-old Mia-Grace Azhdarkosh is so happy it's hard to believe what a troubled young life she has.
The Leigh toddler was still in her mother's womb when she was diagnosed with severe heart problems.
She has had to undergo a series of intricate operations and last autumn the winner of the Journal's 'Cuties' competition became the youngset child in Britain to undergo specialised heart surgery.
Mia-Grace's mum Sarah Gore said: "Tests at Alder Hey hospital showed she had pulmonary ACMs – small veins growing in her lungs so her blood wasn't getting enough oxygen.
"Mia-Grace is the youngest child in the UK to have the fontan completion and survive, we are so lucky to have such a special fighting little girl."
In October Mia-Grace was just 21 months old when she underwent the delicate operation performed by Mr Asif Hassan at The Freeman hospital in Newcastle.
She and Mia-Grace's father, Reza Azhdarkosh, were told she could be in hospital for 12 weeks but amazingly was well enough to return home 12 days after the eight hour operation!
Sarah explained how this involved connecting a major blood vessel, that runs to Mia's heart, directly to her lungs.
"A tube is attached to the inferior vena cava and the base of the lung artery diverting deoxygenated blood away from the heart straight to her lungs, Mia also had a hole created from the tube into her heart so the pressure in her lungs doesn't rise," said Sarah.
"I didn't leave her bedside all the time she was in hospital, if I went for a break I made sure her dad was with her. Nine days after surgery we were able to take her to a local park, it was such a surreal feeling after the massive risk taken to try and give Mia-Grace a chance of survival. Her oxygen levels are now higher than they have ever been since birth. She is my very special little fighter, a true miracle.
"She still has pulmonary avm's and only time will tell if the veins will carry on growing or of they will shrink ,so we are not sure about the future but at the moment things We are not sure about the future but at the moment things look positive. The main thing is Mia is so happy and loving life."