A six-year-old girl who beat cancer has had her holiday wish for pools and parties granted by a national charity.

Tilly Coventry, from Claygate, had leukaemia diagnosed in January 2014, after being unwell for a week with cold sweats and a temperature.

Her mum thought it was a cold that had not come out yet, but took her to see a GP, who sent her straight to hospital for a blood test.

While Tilly and her older sister Mollie watched a video in the waiting room, their parents were given the devastating news that Tilly had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – cancer of the white blood cells.

Mum Sarah said: “I went to pieces and couldn’t breathe for a second. I heard the word ‘cancer’ and I thought we were going to lose her. I felt I would never smile again and it took all my strength to keep it together in front of the girls.”

Tilly was taken to an isolation room and put on a drip; the family was allowed to stay together there for the night, but neither Sarah nor dad Thain slept at all.

For two and a half years, Tilly endured daily chemotherapy, weekly blood tests, monthly steroids and frequent lumber punctures and transfusions.

She has now finished her treatment and is doing well.

Sarah said: “Throughout her treatment Tilly continued to smile and people would comment on what a happy little girl she is. I think Tilly thought that this is what happens when you’re small.”

While in hospital she was referred to Starlight for a “wish”.

During treatment, she was not allowed to swim because her immune system was too low, but since recovering she has started lessons, and decided to use her wish to go on a holiday with pools and parties.

Starlight arranged a week-long family trip to Holiday Village Rhodes, which has four pools, a splash park and a lazy river.

Tilly spent her days in the pool, continuing to learn to swim, and the evenings at the kids’ club on stage, dressing up and entering every competition she could for the chance to go on stage and collect a certificate.

Sarah said, “We’ve never gone on a holiday where we’ve just sat by the pool, but it was Tilly’s Starlight wish and that’s what Tilly wanted to do. She spent every day splashing about and by the end of the week, everyone in the pool knew her and her giant inflatable turtle called Rose! We have all benefitted from sitting by the pool and relaxing. Tilly had the most an amazing time!”