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Ilminster boy, 7, is mum's little hero
AN inspirational seven-year-old boy from Ilminster whose courage and caring nature has changed his mum’s life has won a special award.
Kirsty Swain, 33, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 17 and has since suffered from fits where she drops to the floor and convulses without warning – anything from once a month to as often as every day.
She and her husband Darren started to teach their son Connor what to do when this happens from when he was two.
Kirsty said: “Over two years we taught him how to use my phone to call my emergency contacts and told him my medication details so he would be able to tell paramedics which and how many tablets I take.
“I was taking 14 tablets a day at one stage, so he had a lot to remember. Connor was just four when he first had to look after me. He couldn’t get hold of my husband, so he called my mum and she said he was completely calm on the phone.
“He had put a blanket over me, got me some water and when she arrived he was stroking my face and playing with his toy trains.
“He manages to stay so calm – the only time he got upset is when I had a fit when I was pregnant with his little sister Phoebe because I had blood on my face, which scared him, and he was worried about my ‘bump’ as he called it.”
Connor, who goes to Greenfylde First School, was crowned Young Carer of the Year at South Somerset District Council’s Gold Star awards to a standing ovation and cheers at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil.
Kirsty added: “I am so glad that he has been recognised for what he does for me through this award.
“He is an amazing little boy. On the night he said he didn’t mind if he didn’t win – the main thing was that people knew about my epilepsy, especially as it’s National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
“I genuinely don’t think I would be the person I am today without him because he gives me so much confidence, knowing I’m safe when I’m with him.”
Connor said: “It’s quite normal for me to look after mummy now – I got scared once but that was the only time.
“I feel amazing about winning the award – I felt really proud when my name was read out.
"I can’t wait to show my trophy to all my friends at school.”
Another local winner in the awards was Rob Hogg, of the 1st Chard Wheelers cycling club, who was named Sports Performer of the Year.
Other winners were: Against the Odds, Jack Goodland; Charity Hero Award, Martock Youth Parish Council; Community Champion, Kate Craigie; Contribution to the Arts, Atticus Bowring; Junior Sports Club of the Year, Milborne Port Football Club and Spirit Acrobatic Gymnastics Club; Outstanding Educational Achievement Award, Thomas Reynolds; Sports Coach of the Year, Alex Watts and Keith Walters; Sports Performer of the Year, Rob Hogg; Young Carer of the Year, Connor Swain; Young Volunteer of the Year, Kayleigh Dyer; Lifetime Achievement Award, Tina Boyce.