CHRISTMAS dinner and birthday cake came early this year for one brave 13-year-old.

Ellie Pugh, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was seven, has had to have a nasogastric (NG) tube fitted through her nose and into her stomach.

The tube, which enables Ellie to have the food and medicine she needs without straining her sensitive stomach, prevented her from eating birthday cake when she turned 13 yesterday, Wednesday, and means she will not be able to tuck into a traditional festive feast on Christmas Day.

Not wanting her to be deprived of the celebratory tasty treats, Ellie’s family served up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings followed by a two-tiered birthday cake for pudding before she had the tube fitted.

Ellie, from Atherleigh, said: “When I found out I was having this treatment so close to my birthday and Christmas I was glad at first because I knew it would do a good job of making me better, along with my injections.

“When you are really sick you will do anything to feel better, so it is just one of those things I have to do.

“But when my mum and dad surprised me with an early Christmas dinner and birthday cake it made me so emotional.

“We did the full dinner and had Christmas crackers and everything.”

The St Mary’s Catholic High School pupil is a community ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, a charity she has raised more than £6,000 for.

There is currently no cure for Crohn’s, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Ellie added: “There are so many people in a similar situation to me. We have to do what we have to do so that we can hopefully have better days.”

Her mum Donna, 35, said: “I have Crohn’s myself, so I know what she is going through.

“She copes with it all so well.

“Ellie has had the tube put in now but before she did we all surprised her with a cake and a Christmas dinner.

“It wouldn’t be Christmas dinner if we couldn’t do it together – that’s what it is all about.

“It is really hard to see your child ill, especially when you can’t do anything to take it away.

“But she is so positive and helps others and I wanted to give her everything she deserves, just a bit early.”

Ellie is hoping to be able to have the tube taken out and eat normally again early in the new year.

To help Ellie raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the country’s leading charity in the battle against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, make a donation via:

For more information about the charity visit