COMMENT: Ever-smiling Esmay is an inspiration to us all

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Nobody could fail to be impressed by the courage shown by little Esmay Hurst, who suffers from a potentially difiguring condition which causes her face to swell.

In an emergency she would need to be rushed to hospital before complications set in.

Her mother, Jade, admits she has sometimes been reduced to tears by the problems Esmay has faced, including a number of visits to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for treatment

She said: ‘Esmay has had MRI scans and multiple blood tests and has been as good as gold throughout.

‘There are times when I have cried, but she never seems to stop smiling.’

Esmay now faces the latest challenge in her young life as she prepares to start school — a daunting enough challenge for any child.

In preparation Jade has been helping the school prepare posters to inform staff what to do in the event of an emergency — and a greater challenge is to inform other parents so that Esmay gets the friendship and support she needs from her classmates.

As Jade says: ‘I just want to make sure that people are able to see past the illness.

‘She might look rough some days but she is just a normal five-year-old girl, and wants to be treated as such.’

It is heartwarming that Esmay is looking forward to starting school, particularly as she will have the support of her older sisters, who attend the same school.

As many of us, perhaps reluctantly, look forward to another working week, we have much to learn from the ever-smiling Esmay.

We all know that children can sometimes be cruel to each other, but four-year-old Esmay’s resilience is an example to us all.