A brave girl plunged into an icy stream to rescue her beloved dog despite battling crippling arthritis.
Megan Cartwright, 10, was given the tiny Shih Tzu by her parents after undergoing gruelling chemotherapy for juvenile arthritis.
Although she still suffers from the painful condition she dived in up to her neck to grab her much-loved pet after he disappeared under the water.
Buddy got into trouble during a walk along a stream behind Cockers Farm at Limbrick, Chorley.
He decided to join in as Megan, her friend Danielle Roscoe, 10, and her mum Sharon Cartwright, paddled in the shallows.
But when the ground shelved unexpectedly and Buddy got out of his depth, St Laurence’s CE Primary School pupil Megan acted fast.
Sharon, 47, who runs J Seas Fish and Chip shop on Harpers Lane, Chorley, with husband John, stood by in horror as her daughter went to Buddy’s rescue.
She said: “He went under, Megan screamed then dived straight in up to her neck with her clothes and her wellies still on.
“She grabbed hold of an overhanging branch and reached under the water to get Buddy.” Sharon and Danielle formed a chain to help the pair out of the freezing water.
Sharon said: “They were both absolutely soaked through.”
Megan has suffered from juvenile arthritis since she was two and underwent chemotherapy at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for two years. She said: “She was very poorly but she never moans, she just gets on with it.
“For a couple of years we used to push her around in a pram a lot because she struggled to walk.
“But we always promised that we would buy her a dog once she got through the treatment and that’s how we got Buddy.” The five-year-old dog is now Megan’s constant companion.
Megan said: “He means the world to me. I love him so much.
“He doesn’t normally go in the water. His head went under and he was drowning so I got hold of a branch and jumped in and grabbed his collar. It was really cold.”