A FIVE-YEAR-OLD who faced a tough 2020 has been awarded for his bravery.

Romeo Cotton, a military child from RAF Brize Norton, started the year having emergency surgery when his appendix ruptured.

By the time he recovered, the first national lockdown had begun, so he was unable to go back to pre-school to see his friends.

He then sadly lost his grandmother, before he had to move home and his dad, who serves in the RAF, was deployed overseas two weeks after the move.

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Now though, the youngster has been named ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ by national children’s charity, Little Troopers.

Romeo’s mum, Jodie, nominated him for the award and said: “Romeo has had such a turbulent 12 months but he has taken everything in his stride.

“In hospital he showed so much courage and was very brave. He even tried telling the doctors his tummy didn’t hurt so he could go home.

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“And then through lockdown, losing his nan, moving home, saying goodbye to his friends, starting a new school and saying goodbye to daddy, he’s just always been really positive and kept a cheeky smile on his face.

“He really does light up every room he enters and he is so kind and loving. We couldn’t be prouder of our little trooper.”

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, added: “Romeo has shown such bravery and resilience for someone so young.

“The last 12 months have been even more challenging for him and his family but he’s kept smiling and stayed strong through all of the ups and downs. He is very deserving of our Little Trooper of the Month award.”

Romeo will receive a Little Troopers medal, certificate and special prize as part of his award.

Created in 2011, Little Troopers supports children with one or both parents serving in the British Armed Forces.

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