Joshua Newman - Winner
Joshua was born prematurely at 28 weeks with a congenital heart condition. He spent 6 months in hospital and had 3 heart surgeries and bowel surgery for a life threatening condition. He had several cardiac arrests and numerous complications. Doctors didn't expect him to survive and if he did they expected him to be oxygen dependent, tube fed and have neurological damage.
Now the Doctors call him their walking miracle! He still suffers with chronic lung disease and has an ongoing heart condition, which limits what he can do, but Joshua possess a steely determination to be the same as his peers and tries to live his life to the full. He decided he'd like to learn Karate like some of his friends and has developed into a regular young Karate student in Chelmsford. Over the years he has helped to raise thousands of pounds for the Royal Brompton hospital by telling his story and has been the poster boy for a number of their fundraising campaigns. As part of their 70th anniversary celebrations he won a competition to say thank you to the NHS for saving his life. He gave a speech at Chelmsford cathedral thanking all those who save lives every day. NHS Health Watch saw this and reunited Josua with hero ….his life saving doctor Dr.Babu. As a result a short film of Josua’s experience was made this year and has gone on to be the peoples choice in the National children’s film award. Inspiration indeed !
Myah Arnold - Highly Commended
Myah had worked hard to learn her lines and songs for the lead part in the musical ANNIE to perform at her school Woodham Ley Primary. Before the curtain went up the show became a victim of the Lockdown. Myah was very disappointed, but realised that there were people much worse off, vulnerable and struggling to get shopping. She found this incredibly sad so she decided that although she couldn’t sing on stage she could sing to make a difference and help. That is how ‘Singing for Tins’ came about. Myah rewrote the lyrics to the song ‘Tomorrow’, she made a video of her revised version with pandemic hope lyrics which she shared on a Crowd Funding page. Very soon she met her first target and started buying food. The tins would be distributed by the Rayleigh Evangelical Church Food bank. On many occasions Myah delivered the tins to the food bank herself. Her Grandmother said: “We are very proud of Myah for turning a negative into a positive and for thinking of others at a time when she herself was devastated. She was able to put her own feelings aside and help those in most need.”
Shai Winn - Highly Commended
Shai was born with some severe disadvantages Laryengeal Cleft, Esophageal Dysmotility, Gastroparesis, Ligament Laxity, Low Muscle Tone and Hypermobility.
From 18months old she has had to be tube fed. She has never been able to taste things we take
for granted like a glass of juice, a bar of chocolate, or a Pizza. She has to be hooked up to her machine for 15 hours a day. Even so Shai stays
incredibly positive and has a wonderful outlook on life. Two years ago Mum Lindsey set up the charity Shais Smile, the aim is to help and support other children and families who are going through
similar things. Shai has done a great deal for the charity including fundraising events and sponsorship. She will often visit other poorly children in hospital giving them one of the Shais
Smile charity bears. Shai likes to see them smile and cuddle their bears. Last year Shai helped to write the charity's first children's book called "Stars Can't Shine Without
Darkness", which aims to raise awareness of tube feeding. Shai has so many ideas for the charity and is passionate about raising awareness. Mum Lyndsey says “Shai is an inspiration to so
many people and deserves to be recognised for the outstanding work she does and the people she helps”.
Alexia Sinclair - Highly Commended
Alexia has had to fight for her life from day one. Arriving at 28 weeks, unable to breath by herself and weighing just 2lb 15oz, She was born with quadripledgic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Her mother was told Alexia would never, walk, talk or be able to feed herself. In 2016 she underwent a 10 hr surgery to reconstruct her hips. By 2018 the family had managed to fundraise nearly £80000 to take her for life changing surgery in the USA. She now attends a local school, talks and is able to feed herself. She has had many operations to ease her cerebral palsy and has physio most days. She goes riding and swimming to strengthen her muscles. She has the most beautiful smile and the children in her school all love her. She can now use a walker and can ride an adapted bike. She has more operations planned in the future but she takes them in her stride. She is such a happy child despite it all she has become a major inspiration to many.
Millie Pinches - Highly Commended
Millie has multiple health conditions, heart, hearing, eyesight, arthritis, so far she has needed 5 surgeries and will need more. She is very behind at school but despite it all she just gets up and gets on with it. Great Aunty Claire says “Everyday our Millie suffers pain, but our beautiful girl continues to make us smile and enjoys her life. She is amazing, nothing fazes her, she gets up goes to school, has to wear braces on her legs, she struggles with her walking but she always tries so hard. Millie really does put us adults to shame. With all the problems that are thrown at her Millie has every reason to quit but she doesn’t, she deserves so much to be nominated as a child of courage'.