THERE was not a dry eye in the room when celebrity Michelle Heaton surprised a courageous schoolgirl after picking her as Britain’s Little Hero.

Inspirational Kelly King, seven, has been coming to the rescue of mum Rachel Bottomley, 25, who suffers from severe epilepsy, since she was just four years old.


Singer turned reality TV star Michelle, who shot to fame in talent contest Popstars, chose Kelly out of more than 400 children who were nominated for the national Little Heroes competition, run by pub chain Fayre and Square and children’s play centre Wacky Warehouse.

Staff and pupils at Willows Primary School, in Church Road, Basildon, were left in tears when the former Liberty X singer turned up at morning assembly on Friday to surprise Kelly with her award and a dream family holiday in the sun.


Mia Stolle, assistant headteacher, said: “We have always had an awareness of what Kelly faces at home, but this highlights how amazing and special she is. The assembly was certainly quite emotional!”


Last year, Miss Bottomley of Sandpiper Lane, Basildon, suffered her most violent seizure to date when she collapsed unconscious on the kitchen floor.

Quick-thinking Kelly dialled 999 and followed the instructions given by the operator to keep her mum safe until paramedics turned up.


She also carried her baby sister Stacie-Louise, who is now two, into the living room to shield her from the epileptic fit until dad William King, 27, arrived home.

Miss Bottomley, who found out her daughter had won the competition three weeks ago, said: “We were really struggling to keep it quiet and I was worried about how she would react, but she’s just really shocked. I have always said she is my little hero and now the whole country agrees.

“Now we can give her the holiday we’ve never been able to afford. She deserves it so much.”

Four-months pregnant Michelle, 34, who took her daughter Faith to Willows Primary, added: “I chose Kelly because when she made the 999 call she also carried her baby sister away and that clinched it for me.”