‘I was misdiagnosed three times by doctors – my mum had never heard of dwarfism’, says The Traitors star

The Traitors winner Meryl Williams stole hearts across the nation when she appeared the hit BBC show last year.

Meryl, 27, spoke exclusively to OK! about her experience being diagnosed with achondroplasia, which is the most common type of dwarfism, and around one in 25,000 people are born with it.

Meryl, who now lives outside Edinburgh, explained: "My whole family is average height. When I was born in South Africa, my mum and dad didn't know I had dwarfism. I was misdiagnosed three times. I was finally diagnosed after they did x-rays, scans, blood tests.

"I was born in 1996, which is obviously quite a while ago and South Africa wasn't as advanced in the medical field as the UK at the time.

"When I was finally diagnosed, my mum was searching just to find charities. She got in touch with the Restrictive Growth Association, which is a dwarfism charity in the UK, so she could speak to people and try and find out what was 'normal,' because she had never even heard of dwarfism.

"When we moved to the UK, when I was six years old, we connected to a couple of dwarfism charities so that I could see other people with my condition."

She added: "I'm actually friends with a couple of you post my condition now. It's good to like touch base to like, be able to share similar experiences that we all will understand.

"A lot of my friends and family will try to understand, but they'll never fully get it. My dad's around six foot two, so he's very tall!"

Despite looking different from her peers at school, Meryl said she feels very fortunate not to have been bullied.

She said: "Both my primary and high school experiences were totally fine. I don't want to say I was 'lucky' not to be bullied – you shouldn't be lucky to not get bullied – but I was actually very fortunate that it was all easy going.

"I think everyone just kind of accepted me because I was around them so much and we grew up together, so it was all they ever knew."

The inspiring TV star has been shortlisted for BAFTA Scotland's Audience Award – the first person with dwarfism ever to do so.

"I got the email and thought it was a joke. It was just surreal. Although The Traitors as a show is definitely award-worthy, I never expected to be up for an award as an individual."

Meryl has been selected by an independent jury of Scottish media and culture experts, and is nominated alongside stars including singer Lewis Capaldi and Succession star Brian Cox.

You can vote for Meryl here up until 5pm on Monday October 30, and the winner will be revealed at the BAFTA Scotland awards ceremony in Glasgow on Sunday November 19.

    Source: Read Full Article