AT 11 years of age, Kaitlyn Bannister could be forgiven for wanting to spend time playing with her friends.
But instead, this loyal youngster prefers to use her spare time to look after her mum, who suffers from a condition which makes her almost completely reliant on her daughter.
Kaitlyn has been the main carer for her mum Lindsey for five years – and all the time she has had a smile on her face.
“She does everything for me. She’s absolutely fantastic. I don’t know what I would do without her,” Ms Bannister told the Mail.
She suffers from a degenerative disc condition, which often leaves her incapacitated. It can cause her to fall over unexpectedly, as well as leading to other problems.
On several occasions, Kaitlyn has had to call for an ambulance for her mum when she has collapsed. She was once so unwell, the children were taken to say goodbye as Ms Bannister lay in intensive care.
“I’m lucky to be here, and the kids have had a lot to deal with,” she added.
Every morning, Kaitlyn gets up first, so she can take her mum some tablets so she can get out of bed. She makes the breakfast, tidies the house and makes the bed, before helping her mum shower and get dressed.
She also looks after her little brother, Jack, 10, before she goes to Linton Primary School.
Ms Bannister has suffered with her health for some time, however the issue was exacerbated when she had an accident at work at the age of 18. She currently uses a Zimmer frame or a wheelchair to get around, but she has been told that she is likely to end up in a wheelchair full time.
She has had professional carers to help in the past, but said Kaitlyn did not like that, and would rather provide help herself.
“She would rather it was just me, her and Jack.
“She’s so loving and very protective, and she’s such a happy girl. She always has a big smile on her face.
“She will never say no, and she just does things without being asked.
“She’s an amazing kid,” Ms Bannister.