BRAVE Hope Elliott will celebrate her sixth birthday at her Wearside home today.

Hope, who is recovering from a major operation to repair severe facial malformation caused by a rare condition, is "doing very well", says her mother Bernadette.

The best present for Hope was to be told she could come back to school, said Mrs Elliott.

"She has tried going back a couple of times but teachers were worried it was too soon after surgery - but yesterday they said everything was fine. She is absolutely thrilled," her mother added.

Hope, a pupil at Oxclose Primary School, Washington, will have more surgery in August