The radiant smile of Spalding youngster Tia White and her love in caring for dad Jake lit up the first South Holland Health Awards in Spalding.
Tia (10) was named Young Carer of the Year at the South Holland Health Promotion Day, a ground-breaking health, fitness and well-being event held at South Holland Centre on Saturday.
Organised by Tonic Health of Spalding, in association with NHS South Lincolnshire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), South Holland District Council, the Lincolnshire Free Press and our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, the event allowed people to see the wealth of services available in the area.
But Tia and epilepsy sufferer Lara Quinn (nine) of Holbeach Hurn, who won the Bravery in the Face of Adversity Award, were the stars that shone brightest on a day they were able to share with their families and friends.
Karen Murfet, Tia’s mother, said: “The award was a surprise but Tia is just so caring in that she’ll put others before herself.
“Even at school, Tia is always making sure that her classmates are all okay and even when she’s struggling in class, Tia will help people in any way she can.
Tia is just so caring in that she’ll put others before herself and it’s just her nature, so we’re feeding her positives all the timeKaren Murfet, mother of Tia White, South Holland Young Carer of the Year 2016
“It’s just her nature and so we’re feeding her positives all the time, giving her as much good things as possible and by which she’s just blossomed.”
Tia was nominated not only for the dedication shown in caring for her father Jake, who was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome nearly three years ago, but also her kindness towards fellow pupils at St John the Baptist Primary School, Spalding.
Helen Buckley, the school’s pupil mentor who nominated Tia, said: “We’re really proud of her and we showed her award to everyone in our school assembly yesterday (Monday) morning.
“Tia does so much for her dad, even more than I realised, but she just gets on with things whilst in school.
“I support her quite a lot because there are times when it gets quite tricky for Tia, but she knows that she can always see me.
“On the whole though, it’s brilliant to see how Tia copes with it all and the fact that it’s been recognised will be a really big boost for her.”
Mrs Buckley added that the awards day had been “quite an emotional time” for her parents and Karen, said: “Jake was very fit and active, so when his locked-in syndrome came in September 2013, it was a massive trauma for the whole family.”
NHS England defines lock-in syndrome as where “a person is both conscious and aware, but completely paralysed and unable to speak, sometimes able to communicate by blinking”.
Tia said: “I like it when Daddy has a smile on his face and when he’s realy proud of me, he smiles at me.
“Dad also tells me on his i-Pad that he’s really proud of me and that makes me really happy.”
Caring Spalding pupil Tia is nominated for South Holland Health Awards