A 13-year-old Greenwich girl who had 12 brain surgeries woke up every day thinking she was in France due to short-term memory loss, her mother has described.

The first indication Tansy Smethurst was in trouble was when he family took her to A&E on Easter Sunday 2012.

Rakie Ayola, Tansy’s mum, is an actress set to play Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in theatres in London.

Tansy was diagnosed with the genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis Type 1, which causes benign tumours to develop on nerve endings throughout the body.

For the Greenwich family this came as a huge shock, as they thought the spots on her body that were a sign of the condition were because she was the child of an interracial relationship.

Ms Ayola said: “I’d never heard of the condition before Tansy was diagnosed. Tansy is very well now but from August to December 2013 she had 12 brain surgeries. She was so brave.

“We thought the spots were due to having a dual heritage, I’m black British and Adam is white. We never thought it could be a sign of a genetic disorder.”

After being referred to Guy’s Hospital and discovering Tansy’s condition, Ms Ayola talked about the “awful” realisation of what their daughter had upon googling the name.

She said: “We couldn’t believe what we were reading because Tansy was absolutely fine.

“Things started to slot into place after that. At primary school Tansy had been tested for dyslexia, but the results came back that although she didn’t have dyslexia, she had some difficulties with comprehension. It linked into the learning difficulties that are another potential symptom.”

In summer 2013 while on holiday in France, Tansy was taken ill and a hospital found she had a brain cyst and suffered a serious infection after surgery.

Eleven further surgeries followed over the next few months, and after each one Tansy came out delirious and her short-term memory disappeared.

Tansy’s memory loss meant that back in London she would wake up every day thinking she was still in France. She could only remember up until the day on holiday when she became ill.

Ms Ayola said: “It was incredible how she coped with it all. She couldn’t even remember her hospital room.

“Once she was up and walking she would go to the bathroom and come back and not recognise her room – even though hers was the one decorated with balloons and the room next door was empty. She had no clue.

“I noticed one time she only identified her room because my coat was there and she remembered my coat. Even now, if something new happens she struggles. Routine is very good for her.”

Tansy has now mostly recovered, with her last scan being in autumn 2016 where doctors said everything was fine.

The family has had support over the years from the Childhood Tumour Trust, which this year will receive a grant from funds raised on Jeans for Genes Day

Thanks to the charity’s help, Ms Ayola has become a patron and likes to help parents in a similar situation.

Jeans for Genes is a charity day on September 22 where people wear jeans to work or school to raise money for children with genetic disorders. To order a fundraising pack please visit jeansforgenesday.org.