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Morgan fights back to pick up top award
A TEENAGER who was bullied and went through three major operations when she was a baby has won a Jack Petchey award.
Morgan Heath, 13, from Laindon, was born with a condition called haemorrhage hemangioma on her head which can also described as a strawberry birthmark.
The mark grew outwards and got to the size of a tennis ball when doctors at the burns unit Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford operated on her three times to remove it all.
Morgan, now a pupil at Bromfords School in Wickford, also suffered from myopia, another word for short-sighedness, which meant she had to wear glasses all the time and this led to other children bullying her at school. The pretty teenager also has learning difficulties which she is overcoming on a daily basis.
After a tough childhood and running away from her first childhood home at 11 Morgan moved in with her father Brett Heath and joined the girl guides in Billericay and gained a new found confidence.
Brett, 37, of Kings Crescent, said: “Since Morgan joined the guides she has changed so much, she has been through a hell of a lot for someone her age.
“It was a big thing for her to join the guides because she was 11 and didn’t know a soul at the group, that is a big thing for a child going to a club where most of the children have made their friendship groups.
“She was so pleased to be nominated for the award and for her to win is a big achievement. She has really changed in the last 18 months and grown up so much.
“There has been such a change in Morgan and its been lovely to see her gain so much confidence and really come out her shell.
“She is a really good role model for young people because she hasn’t had an easy life at all but she has come out the other side and is finally settled.”
Hazel Powling, the guide leader of 6th Chantry, said when Morgan started coming to the guides she didn’t expect her to hang around for long.
She added: “I only expected Morgan to come to a few sessions because she didn’t know anyone and children like that often find it hard to make friends.
“But she did the opposite and got herself integrated really quickly and has made great friends. She has come away on our trips including the summer camp where she tried a bit of everything.
“That is why I nominated her for the Jack Petchey because she has changed so much from a quiet little girl into a lovely confident teenager, the transformation has been great to see.”
Morgan and her family will be at the Towngate Theatre in St Martin’s Square, Basildon in January next year to collect the award.