Holly Mercer is just like any other happy and healthy toddler.
ut two years ago things were very different.
In November 2018 at just over a year old, Holly underwent a gruelling nine-hour operation on her skull at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.
When she was born at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine the previous September, her mum Judy noticed her newborn was unable to open her eyes.
She later discovered that Holly's skull had fused together in the womb.
"In the days afterwards the doctors and nurses realised there was something not quite right," Judy recalled.
Holly was referred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where she was visited by doctors from Alder Hey who confirmed her diagnosis. Holly had been born with a rare condition called Syndromic Craniosynostosis - which causes skull deformities.
Judy was told that her baby daughter would require surgery and Alder Hey was one of only four hospitals in England with a specialist craniofacial team.
"Normally a child's skull doesn't fuse until they're around two years old," she explained.
"When Holly was born she didn't have any soft spots so as she got bigger there was going to be no room for her brain to grow in the correct way.
"The specialists said if she didn't have fronto-orbital advancement and remodelling surgery there would be no room in her skull for her brain to grow which would cause developmental problems."
For Judy the day of the operation still remains a blur.
She said: "It felt so surreal and strange and I didn't believe it was really happening until it was all over. The doctors came in and told us they would take the top of Holly's skull off, remodel it, and put it back on.
"It was a bit like science fiction but there were a lot of risks involved including the chance of brain damage.
"I just had to put my trust in the doctors that they knew what they were doing. Right after the operation Holly had severe swelling and couldn't open her eyes as they were all puffy. She was left with a scar right across her head from one ear to the other," Judy added.
"A week later we were back home in Larne and Holly was picking up her brush and starting to clean the floor."
Holly remains under the care of Alder Hey and doctors fly over to Belfast to check on her progress every six months.
She is due to start nursery school next month. "Nearly two years on you can see how the shape of Holly's head has changed and the swelling has all gone," Judy said. "Her development has been really good but she will require more surgery in a few years when she is about eight or 10 which will involve having a frame put around her head. There is more coming her way but the doctors who are monitoring her speech, hearing and eyesight are really pleased with her progress to date.
"Now she's just like a normal toddler who is talking away and having tantrums. She wants to know everything and do everything, loves her nursery rhymes, baking and Fireman Sam too."