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Bride-to-be wants her lifelike doll as pageboy.

Byline: Mike Jones newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

A BRIDE will have a special pageboy at her wedding - her doll called Bert which she treats as her real-life son.

Louise Keel, 46, of Caerphilly, was heartbroken after finding out she couldn't have children of her own - so spent more than PS1,000 on the lifelike curly-haired doll.

Now toddler doll Bert will be dressed up in a pageboy outfit for her big day when Louise weds fiance Brian.

She said: "Finding out I couldn't have my own family left a gaping hole in my life but now I am settled and happy with my partner Brian.

"When we marry next year Bert will be my pageboy - it will mean a lot to me."

Bert is made out of a special silicon material and has lifelike skin, hair and eyes.

He was designed by Louise after doctors told her she would never be able to have a child of her own.

And when her partner Brian, 48, proposed, Louise started planning her wedding with Bert as the guest of honour.

Louise, who is registered blind and uses a wheelchair, bought Bert after discovering a company offering "reborn dolls" on the internet.

He is 2ft 6in tall and has curly blonde hair and cute button nose, chosen by Louise from an online catalogue.

Louise often wraps him up warm and takes him out in a buggy to feed the ducks and visit local attractions.

Louise, has two other lifelike dolls Leah-Rose and Cassidy-Anne, which are both babies.

Every morning wheelchair-bound Louise wakes up early to warm bottles of formula and feed her three synthetic kids.

Her home is awash with all the equipment new mums need - baby bouncers, bottles and comforter blankets. She buys her plastic children Christmas presents and sings them lullabies at night.

Louise said: "Truthfully my children give me that exact same rush of love a new mum gets when she holds her baby for the first time.

"Just holding one of the dolls takes the edge off my pain.

"I love stroking their hair and feeling their chubby cheeks.

"When I get married next year I'll make sure Bert looks a picture in a full made-to-measure pageboy outfit.

"My other reborn babies, Leah-Rose and Cassidy-Anne, will stay at home - they're too small.

"But there's no way I'm getting married without my little boy."

"Just holding the dolls takes the edge off my pain. I love stroking them." Louise Keel

CAPTION(S):

Louise Keel with synthetic toddler Bert who will be her page boy when she marries her partner Brian (pictured)

Louise couldn't have children of her own so she bought a synthetic family from the internet

Louise takes Bert out for an autumnal walk around Caerphilly

Louise Keel of Caerphilly shows how she treats her dolls just as she would a real child of her own
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 12, 2013
Words:477
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