A GIRL with rheumatoid arthritis who came first in the Ringwood Carnival procession has handed over her prize money to Southampton General Hospital towards a new ultrasound scanner.

Beth Adams, 12, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was seven years old, appeared on a Thunderbirds Are Go float with her family and the Soloman family.

Now Beth's mother Lisa has paid tribute to everyone who supported the carnival this year, enabling Beth to give £250 to the paediatric rheumatology unit for the vital piece of equipment.

She said: “I want to say thank you to everyone who donated money at this year's carnival. It is good that people know that their money is being used wisely.

“The hospital has been fundraising for a long time to raise the money needed for an ultrasound scanner for the paediatric rheumatology unit. It is a great piece of kit that will help children all over the district as it will also be used at satellite clinics in Salisbury and the surrounding area.”

Mrs Adams knew there was something wrong with Beth when she complained of continual tiredness and a pain in her hip, and her hands began to swell.

And although the diagnosis came as a shock to Beth's family, the disease strikes one in 1,000 children each year.

Mrs Adams said: “Beth's diagnosis came out of the blue. People just assume that arthritis affects older people, but there are thousands of children with the disease.

“At first Beth was being treated at Bristol as there was no paediatric rheumatology unit at Southampton. Fortunately there is a unit in Southampton General Hospital now, which is much easier for us, but they need a new scanner.”

Beth attends Ringwood School and lives life to the full.

Her mother added: “Beth would rather take painkillers than miss anything that is going on. She has a bright outlook.

“Life is a bit like a rollercoaster ride, there are good stretches of time without too much pain but at other times Beth's arthritis will flare up. We just wanted to thank the carnival for the chance to raise funds in such a fun way.

“The new scanner will soon be installed at the unit.”