Video: Royal ride for a birthday princess from Beverley
WEARING a silver tiara and waving her pink heart wand, Sian-Marie Atkinson looked every bit the birthday princess.
The brilliant sunshine and panoramic views over Beverley Westwood made Sian's birthday treat – a ride in a horse and carriage – all the more special.
Princess Sian, who turned 30 on Saturday, was joined in the carriage by her knight in shining armour, boyfriend Brian Marsden,
The couple enjoyed a cuddle and a kiss as they were treated to the one-hour carriage ride around the Westwood – a birthday surprise from Sian's parents Dave and Dianne.
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"I was surprised when the horses turned up at the house," said Sian.
"It was a present from my mum and dad. They did it because it is my 30th birthday."
Sian suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome – a rarely diagnosed condition that has limited her mental development.
As a result, Sian's mental is age is similar to that of a five-year-old.
People diagnosed with the condition are often a lot smaller in stature and sometimes need a wheelchair to get around.
Although Sian uses a wheelchair most of the time, on her birthday she chose a more stylish form of transport.
The horse and carriage, which was driven by Dave and Sarita Setterington, collected Sian, Brian and carers Pru Tomes and Collette Black from Sian's home in Middleton Close.
She was then given the royal treatment as the two black horses and carriage trotted through Beverley town centre and on to the Westwood.
They had a tour around the Westwood before heading back home for birthday cake and sandwiches.
Sian said: "I was shocked and excited when the horses came.
"I felt like a princess when I got in.
"I enjoyed going over the grass – we were going really fast.
"People stopped to take my picture with their phones and I felt like a celebrity."
Sian's birthday was a day filled with happiness and love.
But reaching 30 was something her family did not think was possible.
Dianne and Dave almost lost their daughter two years ago, when she collapsed on Boxing Day 2010.
"She'd been really poorly for a few days and she'd seen three different doctors who gave her antibiotics," said Dianne, 59.
"Then, on Boxing Day, she started shaking when she was lying down.
"She looked like she was having a seizure, but it was very different to the ones she normally gets."
Dave, 60, remembers the moment vividly, as he helped save his daughter's life.
He said: "She was on the commode and then she just slid off right on to the floor.
"Dianne called 999 and I performed CPR on her until the paramedics arrived."
Sian was rushed to Hull Royal infirmary, where she remained for several weeks – first on the high-dependency unit and then on another ward.
Dave said: "Christmas was an absolute nightmare, because she had been so poorly before she collapsed.
"She was actually dead for a few moments on the floor – the doctors think it was a strain on her heart.
"The paramedics, the 999 lady and the hospital were all fantastic, though."
Sian was diagnosed with the condition when she was just 18 months old.
"A genealogist friend came over from America to see my dad," said Dianne.
"Dad asked if he would look at Sian and he knew straightaway what it was.
"Apparently, it is more widely known about in America."
Sian returned home to a living room full of cards and presents she had been opening on the morning of her birthday.
Most of them were pink – Sian's favourite colour.
Dianne said: "She had an amazing day.
"I want to thank Dave and Sarita Setterington because they made her birthday so special.
"It was as fantastic as I hoped it would be."