Schoolgirl to feature in ‘The Real Thumbelina’ documentary

'THE REAL THUMBELINA': Ollie Mitchell with her mum Emma, and younger brother George.
'THE REAL THUMBELINA': Ollie Mitchell with her mum Emma, and younger brother George.
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She’s the tiny seven-year-old girl with a big sense of fun.

When Ollie Mitchell’s mum asked her what she wanted for Christmas, the cheeky youngster, who stands just 99cm tall, replied: “A ladder please.”

Ollie, of Ferrybridge, near Pontefract, has rare growth limiting condition Russell Silver Syndrome and is the same height as her two-year-old brother George.

Her story has been filmed for ITV1 show The Real Thumbelina, set to be screened at 9pm on Monday.

The show follows the Ferrybridge J&I School pupil and her parents Emma Mitchell-Dale and Ian Dale as they agonised over whether or not to give Ollie growth hormone injections to boost her height.

The couple decided to give her the daily jabs after Mrs Mitchell-Dale travelled to America as part of the show to meet a doctor who specialises in the condition.

Ollie was born six weeks premature and weighed in at just 3lb 2oz, but was not diagnosed with Russell Silver until she was two.

Her family noticed the youngster was not interested in food and never seemed to gain weight.

Mrs Mitchell-Dale, 28, said: “Ollie’s now just under a metre tall. It can be really difficult buying clothes for her, because she fits into things meant for two-year-olds, which means they can be a bit babyish.

“Ollie isn’t bothered by her condition, but we want to give her independence. This year she’s said she wants Santa to bring her a ladder for Christmas.

“We have steps around the house and we’re having an extension built so she can have a tiny toilet and sink because at the moment she’s too small to reach the taps.

“At the moment she’s having physiotherapy to strengthen her muscles, because the condition causes muscle weakness. She needs to go in a wheelchair when we walk for long distances, but she doesn’t let things get to her.

“She’ll be starting the jabs after Christmas, so hopefully that will help her muscle development.

“I hope the documentary raises awareness of the condition and can help families going through the same things we’ve been through. If it helps one family, then it’s been worth it.”

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