A SCHOOL girl who underwent life-changing open heart surgery has won the lead role of Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Margaux Barker, 11, from Tadcaster Road, York, started secondary school in September and continues to defy the odds after having life saving surgery in Leeds aged three.

The aspiring actress was given a clean bill of health after the operation and continues to go from strength to strength, living a normal life as a healthy young girl.

She starred alongside Berwick Kaler and David Leonard in the Old Mother Goose pantomime three years ago and has followed that success up with a role in York’s NEMusicals’ production of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.

Proud mum Myriam said: “It was all very difficult when she went through open heart surgery, but now she is on the other side and it has never stopped her.

“She loves dancing and acting and for the last three years she has never stopped.

“At the same time she is carrying on doing her homework and doing well at school.

“She was one of the lucky ones because many children have a lifetime of surgeries.

“It shows if you don’t have an excellent start in life and face hurdles, you can still achieve whatever you want.

“Margaux’s loving rehearsing with all the talented cast from NEMusicals York, and can’t wait to perform in front of an audience next week.”

Margaux suffered from Atrial Septal Defect, which meant she had a hole between the two top chambers of her heart.

After being monitored for three years it became clear the hole would not close by itself but also that it was too big for keyhole surgery.

The talented youngster and former Knavesmire Primary School pupil is already excelling at All Saints Roman Catholic School after starting in September.

Myriam added: “School has been absolutely fine.

“She has settled in very quickly and made friends.

“She’s working well and is not fazed by the amount of homework, which is a lot more than what she did at primary school!"

Margaux added: “This is my third show with NEMusicals and the biggest part I’ve ever played. I love being Lucy because she’s the one who discovers Narnia and she suits my personality.”

There are still some tickets available to see the show, which runs from Wednesday, November 15 to Saturday, November 18.

They can be ordered online at www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/eventids/972 or at Joseph Rowntree Theatre.