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Cold Feet star John Thomson tells for the first time how his daughter almost died

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The daughter of actor John Thomson says she ‘wouldn’t be here’ without the medics who saved her life after a terrifying allergic reaction as a child. 

Olivia Thomson, 16, ended up in a high dependency unit after reacting badly to medication she received during an operation when she was a little girl. 

Now Olivia and her Cold Feet actor dad have spoken publicly about her childhood health battles for the first time, as she prepares to take part in an event to thank the medics who saved her life. 

Olivia Thomson, 16 (pictured above as a child), ended up in a high dependency unit after reacting badly to medication she received during an operation when she was a little girl

Olivia Thomson, 16 (pictured above as a child), ended up in a high dependency unit after reacting badly to medication she received during an operation when she was a little girl

The teenager had to undergo regular surgeries as a child, after being born with a benign epithelial tumour, which caused warts under her tongue and in her mouth.

They were contained with regular operations to remove them. Without these operations there was a strong chance they would have spread to her throat, meaning Olivia would have been at risk of choking or having breathing difficulties. 

But after one of the operations, her throat started to swell and she had to be rushed back to hospital by her mother, Sam. 

Olivia said: ‘I grew up knowing that once or twice a year I’d be having an operation. 

‘It was hard as a kid, especially as I couldn’t really talk about it with other children – they would run away or pick on me because they thought it was weird. 

John, who is a patron of RMCH and has recently appeared in the smash ITV drama A Confession, said: 'The worst part of it all was seeing your baby being taken away

Now Olivia and her Cold Feet actor dad have spoken publicly about her childhood health battles for the first time, as she prepares to take part in an event to thank the medics who saved her life

Now Olivia and her Cold Feet actor dad have spoken publicly about her childhood health battles for the first time, as she prepares to take part in an event to thank the medics who saved her life

My ninth operation was the worst – I must have been allergic to one of the drugs I was given or something because I ended up on the high dependency unit. 

‘We’d actually gone home after the operation but then I felt my throat swelling up and I just said ‘Mummy, I need to go back to hospital’. 

‘They realised something was very wrong. ‘If it wasn’t for the hospital, I wouldn’t be here. 

‘It was one of the scariest times of my life because I had no idea what was going on.’ 

My ninth operation was the worst - I must have been allergic to one of the drugs I was given or something because I ended up on the high dependency unit. 'We'd actually gone home after the operation but then I felt my throat swelling up and I just said 'Mummy, I need to go back to hospital'

My ninth operation was the worst – I must have been allergic to one of the drugs I was given or something because I ended up on the high dependency unit. ‘We’d actually gone home after the operation but then I felt my throat swelling up and I just said ‘Mummy, I need to go back to hospital’

Olivia was treated by the Starlight Unit, a satellite ward of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, based on the Wythenshawe Hospital site. 

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John, who is a patron of RMCH and has recently appeared in the smash ITV drama A Confession, said: ‘The worst part of it all was seeing your baby being taken away. 

But she was always a trooper. ‘We grew used to the operations, but it never made that horrible feeling in the anaesthetic room any easier. 

‘But I definitely couldn’t fault the staff – they were all fantastic.’ Later this month, Olivia will take part in Glow in the Park, a 5k night time run in Heaton Park in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, to thank the people who saved her life. 

Olivia was treated by the Starlight Unit, a satellite ward of Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, based on the Wythenshawe Hospital site

Olivia was treated by the Starlight Unit, a satellite ward of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, based on the Wythenshawe Hospital site

She added: ‘I was in and out of the Starlight Unit to the point where I knew everyone’s name and they knew me.

‘When dad recently hosted the NHS awards in Manchester, just how much the staff do for patients really hit home. 

‘The condition I had is nothing compared to the severe cases they face each day. I have so much admiration for the work and miracles they have performed on so many children. 

Thankfully Olivia no longer needs operations, and stopped visiting the hospital so regularly when she was 14

Thankfully Olivia no longer needs operations, and stopped visiting the hospital so regularly when she was 14

‘So I joined Glow as a thank you to them all. It was also Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s 10th birthday this year, so I thought it might as well be this year.’ 

Thankfully Olivia no longer needs operations, and stopped visiting the hospital so regularly when she was 14. 

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity’s senior events Manager, Viv Williamson, said: ‘Olivia has picked a great year to be involved in Glow, with it being our 10th birthday year. 

‘Glow is such a colourful and fun event and we can’t wait to cheer on Olivia and the rest of the participants fundraising for our charity.’ 

Glow takes place on Saturday, October 26 in Heaton Park. 

To sponsor Olivia visit and to find out more about the charity and sign up to Glow in the Park visit rmchcharity.org.uk.

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