BEST OF NORTHUMBERLAND: Children of Courage

Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Ian Arkle of the News Post Leader presented Children of Courage awards to Summer Carss, Harry Wintrip and Aidan Jackowiak.
Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Ian Arkle of the News Post Leader presented Children of Courage awards to Summer Carss, Harry Wintrip and Aidan Jackowiak.
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Courage, bravery, tenacity and determination are just a few of the words used to describe the amazing children of courage who were honoured at the awards.

All three shortlisted entries were given the accolade for the battles and journeys which they continue to follow, with a smile on their faces.

The Matthew Phillips Child of Courage Award is named after a special little boy from Shilbottle, who died aged five from a brain tumour. He was previously nominated for the same award.

His parents Vicki and Rob and brother Dan were guests of honour at the event.

The three youngsters who took the accolade were Summer Carss, Harry Wintrip and Aidan Jackowiak Smith.

Three-year-old Summer Carss, from Shilbottle, has medically defied the odds.

In three years she has had three hearts, four cardiac arrests, four strokes, spent a total of 11 months attached to a Berlin heart (a life support machine) and been in hospial for 16 months of her short life. Summer, who has had two heart transplants, has started mainstream nursery and is almost on a par with her peers.

Everyone who meets her is astounded by her courage and bravery and can’t believe what she has been through.

She is a true inspiration and her fight for life and determination to live means Summer has a real zest for life and enjoys it to the full. Even the medics are surprised at how well she has recovered, as they have never had to re-transplant a child so young.

Harry Wintrip was born five weeks early with no complications. But when he was three-months-old he was taken into hospital with feeding problems. Doctors detected that he also had airway problems and his only chance of survival would be a tracheostomy to help him breathe.

It was a terribly frightening time for Harry and his family. When he caught a cold he would be admitted to the RVI for long stays.

He had his trachy removed in November last year so his mum held a fund-raiser for the ward at the RVI to help other families and children like Harry, which raised £2,500. Harry still has ongoing problems but he’s come so far and proved everyone wrong.

Aidan Jackowiak Smith was described as a miracle, unique and a little fighter. It wasn’t until after Aidan was born, two months premature, that his parents found out there was something different with him. He had swelling to his back, neck and face and was suffering from seizures.

It has taken two years of tests and specialist appointments to get a diagnosis for Aidan. He has a severe form of Cloves Syndrome, so rare only 130 people have been diagnosed worldwide.

At only three years old, he has gone through so much more than most people can even imagine, including operations of six hours long and 80 stitches.

It has been a long hard battle for Aidan with a long journey ahead.

The families of the three youngsters were delighted that they were recognised.