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Ipswich toddler Priya who beat serious illness scoops national Water Babies award

PUBLISHED: 12:36 05 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:17 06 January 2017

Priya swimming underwater photographed by Jason Lockwood for Water Babies.

Priya swimming underwater photographed by Jason Lockwood for Water Babies.

Studio H2O jason@studio-h2o.co.uk

A 21-month-old girl from Ipswich who nearly died after being born prematurely has scooped a national award.

Little Priya Jayaram, 21 months, was born prematurely and has battled numerous health scares - but has now been named a little hero by her local swimming club.Little Priya Jayaram, 21 months, was born prematurely and has battled numerous health scares - but has now been named a little hero by her local swimming club.

Little Priya Jayaram weighed just two pounds when she was born and suffered a string of complications including a deadly gut infection that nearly killed her.

After pulling through and showing “incredible courage”, the toddler is now a happy and healthy child.

Described as a “little fighter” by mum Catherine, she has now been named a little hero by the Suffolk and north east Essex branch of Water Babies.

Swimming at the club has boosted Priya’s confidence and helped her learn to walk – once in the pool she loved the freedom of the water.

From left to right: Dad Jay Jayaram, sister Anjali, mum Catherine and baby PriyaFrom left to right: Dad Jay Jayaram, sister Anjali, mum Catherine and baby Priya

Ms Jayaram, 37, said: “When Priya was six days old she suffered a gut infection which nearly killed her. We were told there was a 50% chance she would live and for about 48 hours it was touch and go.

“It was really tough but she is such a little fighter, I’m very proud of her. Seeing as we didn’t think she would survive she has shown incredible courage.

She added: “She’s come so far now and started walking in October, slightly later than others but she’s done so well and is so confident with her swimming.”

National organisation Water Babies said the brave youngster is the perfect example of a little hero – the national awards celebrate children with incredible accomplishments.

Priya’s swimming teacher Bex Succamore said: “After everything she’d been through, Priya may have had a few challenges when she first started swimming with us, but it never stopped her and she was very determined.

“She really loved splashing away in the pool – literally from the word go. We were all amazed at her development, in and out of the water.

“Everyone at Water Babies Suffolk and north east Essex is thrilled that Priya has been chosen as a Little Heroes winner. We all agree she most definitely deserves it.”

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