Shamiam’s a TV star up north

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Courageous Luton burns survivor Shamiam Arif celebrated her 15th birthday in Scotland with an appearance on the main ITV Border news.

A television crew attended her party at the North West Resource Centre in Dumfries where guests were welcomed by piper Callum Watson.

Shamiam will always have soft spot for the town as it was a special constable from the area who was responsible for bringing her to the UK from her home in Kotli, Pakistan, as a desperately ill tiny tot.

Local people took her to their hearts and organised an appeal committee to raise funds for the extensive surgery she required.

She, her parents and brother Shakaib - who is a year younger and shares the same birthday - subsequently moved to Luton where they have extended family. She now has two younger sisters – Shamita, 10, and Monoor, seven.

Since arriving here in 2003, Shamiam has undergone numerous operations under the care of her beloved ‘Uncle Doctor’ – Professor Peter Dziewulski of St Andrews Burns Unit at Chelmsford Hospital.

Her sweet nature and sunny disposition have won her friends wherever she’s gone and she’s an award-winning pupil at Challney Girls High where her can-do attitude has made her a role model.

Shamiam told ITV reporter Matthew Taylor that she wants to be a photographer when she leaves school.

Mum Tahira said she would always be grateful for the love and support they have received in this country.