A LITTLE girl from Burnley who almost died when she contracted meningitis as a baby is all smiles as she poses for the camera for modelling shots and beauty pageants.
Jessica Fay (5), a pupil at St John’s Primary School, in Burnley, was struck down with the deadly bug aged just four months and had to have a life-saving blood transfusion in intensive care at Pendlebury Children’s Hospital in Manchester.
But, almost five years on, Jessica has been chosen to appear in modelling campaigns for catalogues Littlewoods, Kays and Very and, last September, took part in her first beauty pageant where she came third, beating of competition from girls more than twice her age.
Her mum Laura Bell (25) said Jessica is a natural in front of the camera but stressed she is not allowed to wear make-up for any of the pageants.
Laura said: “Jessica has been doing modelling since she was one but she started the pageants last year.
“I wasn’t sure at first because I wasn’t going to put make-up on her. But I spoke to some of the other pageant mums and they said she didn’t have to wear make-up. I had to talk her dad Adam into it.
“Jessica had her first pageant in September and she came third out of girls aged five to 13.
“I was a bit unsure about it, I was talking to the other mums and they were really nice. Jessica was the youngest and she was bossing the other girls around.
“She’s a natural, she loves the camera and she loves looking back at the pictures afterwards. She also likes taking pictures herself.”