AN INSPIRATIONAL schoolgirl from Kingsmead is preparing to represent Cheshire in the Miss Teen Great Britain contest just a year after she had open heart surgery.

Natasha Wyatt, 16, was born with a rare congenital heart condition, which saw her undergo surgery aged three-and-a-half weeks, again when she was eight and then in August 2013, when she was 15.

Her twin sister Gemma nominated her for the competition, which draws thousands of entries each year, with just 60 girls making it through to the final.

Her mum Alison said: “We’re all really proud of her.

“I said ‘won’t you be nervous?’ but she said ‘no, I’ll love it’ and it’s going to be fun watching her do it.”

Alison explained that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Natasha is treated, only see two or three cases a year of babies with the same condition as Natasha.

This condition meant that when she was born her heart was missing a valve and a tube, which have to be replaced as she grows.

“It’s a lifelong thing for her,” said Alison.

“But even as a baby she’s never let it stop her doing anything, she’s never let it rule her life.

“She’s a very good dancer and enjoys horse riding so it’s good for other teenagers who are suffering to see that you can still do things.

“The most recent operation in August was the most traumatic for her because as a teenager she was more aware of the risks.

“And as a teenager having a big scar has been a big thing for her but this competition has helped build her confidence up.”

Natasha, a Hartford CE High School pupil, is currently sitting her GCSE exams.

She has been offered places at Mid Cheshire College, Sir John Deane’s College and Reaseheath College following her exams and hopes to study dance and become a choreographer.

The Miss Teen Great Britain final will take place in Blackpool in August.