WHEN Sean Byrne was born with severe limb abnormalities, doctors told his parents it would be best to have his short right leg amputated.
His parents did not want him to have to go through life with a prosthetic limb and they found a doctor in the United States who is slowly but surely getting the leg to grow.
Now the karate fanatic is defying the odds and has joined his local football team in Kill, Co Kildare.
Yesterday Sean (8) was named the Child Hero Award at the SMA Maternity and Infant Awards 2012 at the Shelbourne Hotel.
He was nominated by his mother Catherine, who said:"It's been a long battle. He had his first operation when he was two. From day one he took it as part of what he did."
Another child who is making her mother proud is Lily Tumulty (4) from Maynooth, Co Kildare, who helps her mother Olive care for her two-year-old sister Katie, who has a rare mitochondrial condition. Lily is the Little Champion of the Year.
Meanwhile, John Quinn from Clonsilla, Dublin, was named Dad of the Year and Ellen Sherry, from Blackhorse Avenue in Dublin, was named Mum of the Year.
Grandparent of the Year Norah Fahy from Rahoon, Galway, helped her daughter, Jennifer, through extreme loss and hardship to help her fulfil her dream of having a family.