CORNELL CENTRE - CHILD OF COURAGE
Winner - Katie Yoxall-Davies
Katie is an inspirational young lady who, although unwell most days, still thinks of others first. Katie is thirteen and suffers from a complex heart condition. Her condition was first diagnosed when she was 7. Just two years later she decided she wanted to help others. Katie and her mum set up Katie's Heart Appeal and have raised over £35000. Katie herself took part in superhero runs, Santa Runs, 5ks, and has been the driving force behind all the other fundraising events. The money raised has funded 12 public access defibrillators placed in the community and schools in Essex. She has also supplied the Children's Cardiac Unit at the Royal Brompton (Katie's hospital) with vital life saving equipment, and continues to help spread awareness of life threatening heart conditions, and how important first aid and knowledge of CPR is. Katie has even taught her peers and teachers at school how to take their pulse and how to look out for signs of a problem. Katie has made a real difference to other peoples lives, children and adults, even though she is one of those people herself. She is a role model to her friends and her teachers. Although Katie needs quite lengthy periods of time off school, she still remains in top sets for her subjects.
As one of her nominators put it,
Katie does not let her heart condition affect her daily living nor her education. She is a truly courageous selfless person, and as an inspiration to all, she is very deserving of this award.”
Highly Commended - Rebecca Phillips
Rebecca faced a great many problems in her early life, which led her to anti-social behaviour, barely attending school and many other social hazards. Since coming into care, she has shown great determination to turn her life around. She has brought her school attendance up to 100% and developed a very positive attitude, which was acknowledged recently when Rebecca was appointed as a school prefect. She is working well towards her GCSE’s, and outside of school is taking part in theatre productions.
Her nominator says,
“Despite her difficult start Rebecca has learned to manage her emotions, enabling her to grow into a very loveable young lady, proving to be a great role model and an inspiration to all young people.”
Highly Commended - Honey Fenton
Honey needed open heart surgery when just ten days old. She was later also diagnosed with scoliosis and a continued narrowing of her arteries, both conditions will eventually need surgery. Honey shares a room with her seventeen-year-old sister, who has complex needs. If her sister is unwell in the early hours she always wakes up and alerts her Mother, if her sister ‘fits’ she's always there to help, Honey thinks the world of her. The children’s ‘Dream’ charity granted her sister a dream to own a hot tub. Seeing how much this helped her sister and made her smile, Honey wanted to give something back. She has raised over £4000 for them to help grant other children ‘dreams’ like her sister. The charity was so grateful they’ve made her an Ambassador.
Her Mother says,
“Even though Honey has ill health herself she always thinks of helping others, putting her own health to one side.”
Highly Commended - Harvey Potter
Harvey has cerebral palsy, severe visual impairment and developmental delay. He undergoes intensive physiotherapy, self funded by Mum's tireless fundraising via ‘Harvey's Wish’. He works extremely hard in the sessions as it takes every ounce of strength and concentration for him to sit, stand or do any of the things that we take for granted. He now walks, with assistance, on a treadmill. Amazingly Harvey takes part in fundraising events for PARC children's Play and Resource Centre where he has attended for several years. He recently completed a 2km 'sponsored walk' on his disability tricycle, pedaling all the way. He cried when his hands got cold, but he (and his Mum!) refused to give up so that they could raise money for children to attend summer holiday trips just as Harvey did. Harvey and his Mum are a formidable team full of determination whilst also valuing and enjoying every moment they have together. Mum's positivity and determination have rubbed off on him, his progress is amazing and his spirit is heart warming.
Highly Commended - Aiden Philpott-Euesden
Aiden from Epping had his eighth birthday just 4 days before the awards. Aiden was on a scary roller coaster ride for his first few years. He was born with his food pipe joined to his wind pipe, despite successful emergency surgery his parents were told that he would have ongoing feeding and respiratory difficulties. Aiden had many complex medical problems, he was hyperactive with no understanding of danger and struggled at school. He began making progress three years ago with the help of therapy at the Brainwave charity in Witham. Eventually home education, by his Mother and Grandmother, helped him to gain a place at a mainstream school. He is now doing very well. He has made steady progress academically, at the same time improving his social and communication skills. Aiden had previously found finger-based tasks difficult, now he writes and draws extremely well and is learning to play the piano. He has worked on his co-ordination and core strengths, loves sport and has represented his school at district games, he is also a capable swimmer.
His nominator Gerry Gould says,
“Aiden is a courageous fighter who has faced a lot of challenges and is now a delightful young man who thoroughly deserves to be nominated”