By Monica Gibson

THE dreams of an inspirational Barrhead girl who lives with several serious health conditions came true on a trip of a lifetime to Disney World.

Lauren Cosgrove, 12, who has endured health complications since being born 27 weeks early, was whisked to the Florida theme park by children’s charity Dreamflights.

And the tough times were all but forgotten as she swam with dolphins, rode rollercoasters and made new friends with other youngsters from across the UK who also live with debilitating medical conditions.

Lauren said: “It was amazing. I loved it.”

The brave youngster depends on artificial nutrition machines to keep her alive, with one tube going into her heart and another into her gut, but says the fact her new friends had different and similar disabilities made her feel more relaxed.

And the trip did wonders for her confidence as she took on new experiences and challenges for the first time – including white knuckle rides and even allowing her colostomy bag to be on show.

She told the Barrhead News: “I loved going on the rollercoasters. I’ve been on some before but not really the big ones. This time I went on loads that went upside down. I was screaming – but happy screaming.”

Lauren, who loves mermaids and pop band Little Mix, added: “I was walking around with my T-shirt tied up when it was hot.

“I would feel funny at home but I didn’t feel any different from the others and that was really nice. I’m really glad I got to go on Dreamflight.

“My mum said I was going to have a surprise for my 12th birthday but I didn’t imagine this.”

It was the first time Lauren had been away from her family for an extended period, and while her mum Laura was delighted her daughter was having a great time, she admits she found the week emotional.

She said: “I don’t do crying but I cried my eyes out all week.

“I was constantly looking to see if there were updates on Facebook because we didn’t have any contact while she was away and being so far away was quite scary but she had a fantastic team of doctors and nurses and Lauren had met the other kids before she went.”

Laura also couldn’t believe the difference in her daughter when she came back and her new-found confidence.

She added: “Lauren had a ball and said she wanted to go back the day she got home.

“She even had the confidence to go around with a wee short top on with her colostomy bag and tubes showing, something she’d always been really self conscious about but being with other kids with different disabilities and conditions meant she didn’t feel different.”

Dreamflight is a UK charity that changes young lives by taking children with a serious illness or disability on the holiday of a lifetime.

To find out more, visit