When six-year-old Max Wray ran out of tablets for his severe epilepsy during the recent heavy snow, it was Tameside Hospital’s paediatric epilepsy specialist nurse Carolyn Taylor who was quick to the rescue.
Thanks to her, Max got his medication delivered to the door and his mum breathed a sigh of relief.
Max’s mum Kelly is so impressed with Carolyn’s total dedication to her role as a specialist paediatric epilepsy nurse and her support to families throughout Tameside, that she nominated Carolyn for an award.
Kelly said: “Carolyn has made such a difference to numerous families, like ours and to the lives of their children with epilepsy. She is a very special person who goes above and beyond to support people.
“Carolyn has been so supportive and truly understands and appreciates the stress and frustration that our family, and more importantly Max has been through. She has helped Max and myself with many traumas, being turned down for a disabled badge, going on holiday, change of medication and the problems this brings. She is a total star.”
With help from Carolyn, there is now a special parent support group – HOPE – which supports families with children who have epilepsy. The group is now going from strength to strength and has just published a special 2011 fundraising calendar.
Carolyn received two nominations for the annual professional of the year award, run by local organisation ‘Our Kids Eyes’. She was presented with the award by Councillor John Taylor.
‘It was an honour to be nominated by the parents for professional of the year,” said Carolyn. “The children, young people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy and their families within Tameside are truly inspirational. It is the families who deserve the award for the many challenges they have to go through on a day to day basis.
“The family support group has gone from strength to strength over the last year. This would not have been possible without the dedication of the committee members of HOPE. I am looking forward to the New Year, continuing to support the children, young people and their families in any way that I can and have already helped so many people.
“Working together with the families continue will improve awareness of epilepsy within Tameside to allow children and young people better opportunities; in order them to reach their full potential.
“I would like to say a thank you to those who nominated me for the award I am humble in the presence of the families who work so hard, not only for there own children but for all the children, young people and families within Tameside.”
Along with Kelly, Joanne Smith also nominated Carolyn for the award. Joanne’s nine-year-old daughter Chloe was diagnosed with epilepsy last year.
The mum of three from Hyde said: “I can’t put into words how important Carolyn has been for Chloe and the rest of the family. She is worth her weight in gold.
“Chloe struggled to come to terms with her epilepsy and there were times when Carolyn was the only person my daughter would talk to. Chloe was so bad on one occasion that Carolyn literally dropped everything she was doing to come around.”
Joanne added she had initially been nervous about going along to her first HOPE meeting, but in 12 months she and her husband Paul have gone on to become vice chairman and events manager respectively.