Welwyn woman wins carer of the year

A MUM-OF-TWO has been named as carer of the year at a national awards ceremony.

Lois Harden, from Pottersheath, won brain injury association Headway’s award for caring for her son, Adam.

In 2002, while walking home from a night out with friends, Adam was in collision with a car in Stevenage.

In addition to sustaining serious traumatic brain injury, his catalogue of injuries left him deaf, mute and blind in one eye.

However, with the constant love and care of his mum, he began to make a recovery and this year – seven years after the accident – the 27-year-old gave his sister away at her wedding and delivered a moving speech.

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In order to provide care for her son and make time for her daughter Kristy (who won a YOPEY for her care for Adam in 2005), Lois chose to give up her successful career as a market research supervisor, tirelessly campaigning to ensure Adam receives the needed treatment.

Lois, who was honoured at a ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Thursday, told the WHT: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I didn’t even think of being entered let alone winning. So it was a bit of a shock.

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“I’m just doing what any mum would do.”

The New York-born woman, who has been in the press limelight since with appearances on ITV News and interviews from the Daily Mail and the BBC, said: “It’s been a bit mental, we’ve had press from across the country and we are trying to give the message that you can have a life after brain injury and don’t give up hope.”

Adam, who was also a finalist in the Achiever of the Year category, said: “I was shocked to hear I was a finalist but even more pleased to hear Mum was also a finalist.

“I would never have come this far without her determination.”

“Lois is an inspirational woman,” said Peter McCabe, chief executive of Headway. “Adam’s recovery has defied the predictions of all the doctors who have treated him and while this is partly down to his own determination and strength, the constant support, love and attention provided by Lois has played in an integral part in his development.

“She has demonstrated huge amounts of emotional strength to remain positive for her son and encourage him to battle back. She is truly deserving of the title.”

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