Fairy­tale end­ing for Melissa

Sunderland Echo - - Opinion -

We love a story with a fairy­tale end­ing ... and we got one with Melissa Gib­son.

Echo read­ers may be fa­mil­iar with Melissa’s story. Her many ups and downs have been chron­i­cled over the years.

So to see her to­day look­ing so happy is real heart­warmer.

That she is with us at all is mi­nor mir­a­cle in it­self.

Born weigh­ing less than a bag of sugar, she was given lit­tle chance of sur­vival.

As Melissa her­self says: “I am the mir­a­cle pre­ma­ture baby who was meant to die.”

She may have been dubbed a sugar bag baby, but she’s not sugar coat­ing her story. Be­ing born 14 weeks pre­ma­ture would have been bad enough, but she had the added com­pli­ca­tion of un­der­go­ing surgery to leave her bow­els on the out­side of her body.

She cheated death on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and the trauma of those early years fol­lowed her through her teens. A mix of health prob­lems saw her bat­tling ad­ver­sity for many years cul­mi­nat­ing in a bout of de­pres­sion.

With so many set­backs in her life, you can’t help but feel for this brave young woman. But, as she re­veals to­day, hap­pi­ness is there if you look hard enough.

And 27-year-old Melissa has found it in the shape of An­drew Hep­ple ... her knight in shin­ing ar­mour.

The pair met by chance when Melissa was at her low­est ebb, and they found love to­gether.

Af­ter years of court­ing, An­drew asked Melissa to marry him and she said yes.

Her story is an in­spi­ra­tional one which has the added bonus of a fairy­tale end­ing.

She said: “I was the baby who wasn’t meant to sur­vive and look where I am now.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions Melissa!

By Richard Ord

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