Girl, 8, who used to try to ‘peel off’ the scar she was left with after open-heart surgery overcomes her insecurity to model at London and New York Fashion Weeks
- Freya Ingham was born with a hole in her heart and needed life-saving surgery
- The eight-year-old from Manchester had open heart surgery aged just two
- Surgery left her with a six-inch scar down her chest which she tried to ‘peel off’
- She was scouted on Instagram and modelled in London and NY fashion weeks
A girl who was given life-saving open heart surgery at the age of just two has taken the fashion world by storm after she walked at New York and London Fashion week.
Freya Ingham, eight, from Manchester, overcame the insecurities she had about a six-inch (15cm) scar on her chest following surgery in 2013 to fix a hole in her heart – and now asks photographers not to airbrush it out of images.
Her mother, Claire Ingham, kick-started her career when she spotted a page on Instagram looking for child models last year.
Freya Ingham, eight, from Manchester pictured on the catwalk at London Fashion Week has a six inch (15cm) scar on her chest as a result of the surgery, which she use to ‘pick at’ but has learned to accept
Freya (pictured in London Fashion Week) has now modelled for small designer brands called House of Ikons, Me Clothing, Eye Candy. She wasn’t paid for any of her shows but got to keep the clothes
The scar the youngster used to try and ‘peel off’ is now something she’s proud of, says mum Claire, and the family ask photographers not to airbrush it from modelling photos
The opportunity led to Freya appearing in her first ever modelling show at London Fashion Week in September. Soon after, she was asked to walk in New York Fashion Week too.
Claire, who is a primary school teacher, said: ‘Freya is wise beyond her years, she tells people she got her scars for being a brave girl when they ask how she got it.
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‘When she was younger she’d try to peel it off, when we went on holiday we would put plasters to cover it when she was in her swimsuit so people wouldn’t ask questions.
‘When people saw the scar, they’d go up to her and ask to touch it, it really bothered her.
Freya, pictured as a newborn, was in her first ever modelling show at London Fashion Week in September, after needing life-saving open-heart surgery as an infant
Freya Ingham, eight, from Manchester, was born with a hole in her heart and needed life-saving surgery aged just two. Last month, aged eight, she modelled in New York Fashion Week (pictured)
‘Her insecurity got worse when she realised other kids didn’t have scars on their chests when she was changing for PE in school.
‘During both shows in London and New York in February, it was just amazing to see her on the runway, she was so proud of herself.
‘I’m so proud of her too, it makes me happy to see how much her confidence has boosted, she wants people to know that she got her scar for being a brave girl, she’s an inspiration.
Freya’s mother Claire Ingham kick-started her modelling career when she spotted a page on Instagram looking for child models last year, it took her to London Fashion Week (pictured in September getting her make-up done) and New York last month
Keen to make the most of her journey, Freya saw the sights in New York when she went there to model last month (pictured in front of the Statue of Liberty)
‘I always tell the photographers not to airbrush her scars if they ask, she’s very proud of it.’
Freya has now modelled for small designer brands called House of Ikons, Me Clothing, Eye Candy.
She was not paid for appearing on the catwalk but was able to keep the clothes by the British and American designers.
Freya, pictured at London Fashion Week, now tells people who ask she got her scar from ‘being a brave girl’
Freya, pictured in New York’s Central Park, was excited about her trip and practised perfecting her walk and poses in front of the mirror in the living room at home
In the lead up to the event, she practised perfecting her walk and poses for the runway in her living room at home.
Her dad, Phil Ingham, 42, her twin brother Alex, who was not born with the same condition and older brother Dylan, 13, did not attend her shows because of the costs but they supported her from home.
Phil said: ‘Freya wants to share the message that you can still be beautiful with a scar or even if you’re slightly different.
‘Freya (pictured on the catwalk) wants to share the message that you can still be beautiful with a scar or even if you’re slightly different’ he proud dad Phil Ingham said
‘I’m so proud of her for having such an amazing attitude at such a young age.
‘She was excited to be in New York and London living her best life, the whole opportunity was just out of this world she even met people from Real Housewives of New Jersey.’
The family now collects money for Alder Hey’s Ronald Macdonald House where Freya was treated.
Freya, pictured in New York, left her twin brother Alex, who was not born with the same condition and older brother Dylan, 13, and Dad Phil at home and travelled with her mother
Freya, pictured with an NYPD officer, and her family now collect money for Alder Hey’s Ronald Macdonald House and have raised more than £3,500
They have raised more than £3,500 for the hospital throughout the years.
She has also helped to organise events such as cake sales and raffles in aid of the cause.
Claire added: ‘We’ll continue to raise money when we can for the charity because they’ve helped us a lot.’
Freya, pictured with her mother Claire and grandmother Chris Chamberlain in New York
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