THE bedroom of a young girl who has spent much of her life in and out of hospital has been transformed thanks to a kind-hearted painter and decorator.

Helena Stewart, 5, has had multiple surgeries, including on her brain and eyes, and has a rare genetic condition as well as autism.

Now, the bedroom of her Haddington home has been given a ‘paw-some’ makeover thanks to Vince Kerr.

The Tranent-based painter and decorator created a Paw Patrol mural free-of-charge on her bedroom wall, which thrilled the youngster.

Toni McGovaney Stewart, her mum, said: “Helena is hugely grateful and absolutely loves [animated children’s TV series] Paw Patrol.

“It is probably not something I would do in my house, which is one colour. I don’t do bright colours and she probably would not have got the opportunity.

“It has been a lovely treat for her.”

Vince, who runs Vince Kerr Painter & Decorators, had put out a call on social media after hearing on television about how young people were struggling during lockdown.

People were asked to nominate someone who had been having a hard time, with Helena’s story catching the attention of 54-year-old Vince. He then spent a day transforming the wall at the home.

Vince said Helena had not been home when the work was carried out, with Toni instead sending him a video of her reaction. The painter and decorator, who has been running his own business for 15 years, said: “Her reaction was amazing.

“She was giggling and laughing. I sent a message back to her mum saying it was all worthwhile and we are going to carry on. We will get another one done before Christmas.”

The youngster has regularly been in and out of hospital, with a number of surgeries carried out.

Her mum, who is a freelance riding instructor, said: “Helena has been unwell since she was about five or six weeks old.

“She has got a rare genetic condition, which was only diagnosed about two years ago.

“I would not know the exact date but it basically made sense because the hospital could not understand why so much was wrong with her.

“She had surgery on her brain and surgery on her eyes and she had severe reflux. She had a feeding tube and lots of different things that they could not understand why this was happening to a little girl.”

Helena recently started at Athelstaneford Primary School, where she is one of just seven P1 pupils.

Toni said that her daughter struggled with anxiety due to her autism and had been worried about going to school.

She said: “Lockdown was very hard initially because her routine changed massively.

“That is part of autism and that was not great but after about six or seven weeks was the best she has been because she was away from everybody.

“She was not being socialised, there were no unusual noises and her routine was very much the same because we could not go anywhere.

“She was very, very good in that middle bit and the least stress I have seen her under.”

Toni said that the decorating of the bedroom was explained to Helena because she would have struggled to cope with the change to her room without prior warning.

Thankfully, the youngster was thrilled by the alterations and her mum added: “Any people that come in the house she asks them to come and see her room.

“She really loved it.”