Our Life After Stroke Awards recognise the achievements of everyone affected by stroke. The 2018 Life After Stroke Awards was held at The Landmark London on Wednesday 21 November. You can watch the ceremony via our Facebook page.
Learn about our very deserving winners below:
Carers Award: Grace Mathews
When her mum, Heidi, had a stroke, 13-year-old Grace became her full-time carer. As well as taking on all of the household tasks, Grace was a vital part of Heidi's recovery, helping her with speech therapy and supporting her in rebuilding her confidence and independence.
Adult Courage Award (65+): Kate Aitken, sponsored by Vision Express
Kate had been the main carer of her husband after he had a stroke 12 years ago. In 2017 Kate herself had a stroke, which left her with severe aphasia. Sadly, while she was recovering, her husband passed away. With great courage and determination, Kate set out to regain her independence and worked hard to improve her speech.
She now supports other stroke survivors at her local communication support group and singing group, offering them friendship and encouragement when they need it the most.
Jack Petchey Foundation Children and Young People's Courage Award: Elizabeth Lily Kiss
Elizabeth was 13 when she had a devastating stroke on the day of her cousin's wedding which left her paralysed down one side of her body. After a lot of determination and hard work, she learnt to walk again. She has had to overcome physical and emotional challenges during her recovery, but this hasn't stopped her raising awareness of childhood stroke and rebuilding her independence. Her latest challenge is learning to drive.
Fundraiser of the Year Award: Marvin Fray, Bethany Foley, and Marcia Holmes
Marvin, Bethany and Marcia tragically and suddenly lost their mother Jean when she had a major stroke on Marcia's wedding day in June 2017. Since their mother's passing, they have raised over £30,000 for the Stroke Association and set up a Strike Back Fund in Jean's memory. The family have also used their experience to help raise awareness of stroke.
Professional Excellence Award: Dr Sreeman Andole
Sreeman has been a Consultant Stroke Physician, Clinical Lead and Director for Stroke Medicine at Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals for over eight years. He's passionate about patient care, committed to involving patients in stroke improvement plans and dedicated to driving up standards and investment in stroke services.
Stroke Association Award for Volunteering: Liz Topliss
Liz has been a volunteer for over 40 years. She started the Sutton Coldfield Stroke Support Group, helping many stroke survivors and carers locally. Liz is also on the UK Stroke Forum Scientific Conference Committee and makes sure that the voices of those affected by stroke are heard by stroke professionals.
Award for Creative Arts: Rebecca Morrow
Rebecca was 18 when she had two strokes, caused by an undiagnosed hole in her heart. Rebecca used her passion and talent for art in her recovery and explored the concept of becoming 'more than my stroke' in her art A-Level. She's now doing a Foundation Art and Design course at Ulster University Belfast Campus.
Dow Jones Adult Courage Award (18-64 years): Emma Raven
Emma had a stroke five days after discovering she was pregnant and was left with severe communications issues. Despite this, Emma has avidly campaigned for A New Era for Stroke, sharing her story with MPs at an event in parliament. She's now helping to shape the future of stroke care as a campaign ambassador in the National Plan for Stroke group.
Stroke Group Award: North West Community Stroke Choir
The North West Community Stroke Choir started as a six-week project and was so successful it has been running for three years. The friendly group welcomes anyone with a connection to stroke and a desire to sing, and have represented the Stroke Association at events all over the North West.