A TEENAGE charity champion and beauty pageant is making a comeback after suffering from a series of terrifying panic attacks.

Seventeen-year-old pageant star Leah Canning, who is currently Miss Teen Scotland, has bravely revealed that she was forced to pull out of a series of public events after being rushed to hospital three times.

The Inverclyde Academy pupil, from McLeod Street, told the Tele how she thought she was having a heart attack and was ordered to rest by doctors.

But after a few months off she returned to her charity work on Friday by taking part in the STV Children's Appeal, meeting TV star Lorraine Kelly and Sir Tom Hunter during the show.

The sixth year student said: "In the last few months I've been limiting my activities as reigning Miss Teen Scotland as I've been rushed to hospital three times by ambulance.

"I've also been to numerous out-of-hours appointments and GP appointments.

"I have had severe anxiety and this has caused me to be rushed to hospital with ‘suspected heart attacks’ due to the symptoms I had been experiencing.

"During these panic attacks I get chest pain, tingling in the hands and arms, I'm not able to breathe, feel nauseous and that I am going to faint.

"Panic attacks can truly make me feel and believe that I'm taking a heart attack, due to the severity of them."

Leah had some high profile events arranged but had no option but to pull out of them, including a trip to London.

She believes the break will do her the world of good and says her loved ones have been vital in her recovery.

She added: "I am finally getting back to being confident and happy within myself with the help of everyone around me.

"Without them I would not have been able to come back."

Leah has credited her pageant and charity work with transforming her life.

The Greenock youngster was born premature and given little chance of surviving.

As a result she has had to battle health problems like hypermobility.

Leah took part in the STV appeal which raises millions for children across the country.

She was delighted to be involved again last weekend after making her return to the charity scene.

Leah said: "I took part last year and it was fantastic. I love being part of a live show."