When Neil was born, her mother, Rachel Sutton, 37, swore that she would help her daughter achieve anything she wanted. She immediately discovered that Nell had inherited the eye disease from her father Paul (37).
Both suffer from congenital glaucoma – an eye disease that damages the optic nerve.
So Rachel and Paul from North Wales were well equipped to deal with their daughter’s challenges.
Neil was born without sight in her right eye, and little in her left. In the first year, she underwent a total of 13 operations to maintain her current vision.
Pug a lot
To help their daughter become as independent as possible, Rachel and Paul enlisted the help of a specialist from the charity Guide Dogs.
The valuable help meant that Neil, who was only two years old, learned to sail with the help of a blind stick!
Today, the girl is seven years old, enrolls in the second grade of a regular school, and is thriving. She made her way through school, and when she would be participating in gymnastics competitions, she learned the number of steps before you had to jump, spin, and do exercises.
Guide Dogs was so impressed with Neil’s progress that the organization wanted to use it in a national advertising campaign in the UK.
Neil thought it was so much fun to be in the commercials.
– She begged me to let me do more. When I saw an ad where they were looking for girls between the ages of 5 and 18 for a TV series, we taped them, says Rachel.
Two months later, she was told that the director wanted to do a video interview.
– I thought someone was playing with me. They said the director is Sean Levy, the man behind the success of Netflix’s Stranger Things, says Rachel.
And when it was time for the interview, Sean Levy himself showed up. The little girl was completely fascinated by the world-famous director.
It didn’t take long before she was offered to play the small version of the main character in the Netflix series “All the Light We Cannot See” – stars like Mark Ruffalo (54) and Hugh Laurie (63) also star.
– Sean then said that he chose Neil because they chatted as if they had known each other for years. Plus, she appeared to be fearless, says Rachel.
Soon, Nell and her mother will go to Budapest, Hungary for a recording session, and meet other stars.
-Neil knows she has challenges because she is blind, but she doesn’t allow herself to be stopped, says Rachel.
– If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she answers her mother, the nurse, and the actress – in that order, she continues.
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