Carers are the often unseen and unheard heroes in our society, putting the need of others above their own, time and time again.
The two nominees shortlisted for the Armagh I Carer of the Year award (sponsored by Alora Rejuvenation) are Patricia Black and Paula Magee. Vote for your winner here.
Patricia was nominated by her daughter Gillian Morris.
She wrote: “My mum was a carer for her sister Sharon for 45 years. She was paralysed from the neck down which meant that mum did absolutely everything for her, washing dressing, toileting etc.
“Mum truly devoted her life to caring, never going on holidays or any days away. While looking after Sharon in her own home she also nursed her father-in-law when he had a type of dementia.
“She made him food, toileted him, cleaned up any accidents that he had, all this while also caring for Sharon.
“Both have now passed on but my mum is still so self sacrificing, looking out for elderly neighbours… She is honestly one in a million.” Vote for Patricia here.
Paula Magee has been nominated by her sister Colette Donaghy.
Due to complications during birth, Paula’s eldest son Cillian was born with a brain injury and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Her second son Cahir was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and again Paula became a carer to a chronically sick child.
Sadly, Cahir died at 18 weeks and two days old but Paula turned this tragedy into something positive by fundraising for the charities which helped them.
Said Colette: “Paula is a tireless advocate for Cillian – through her persistence he has developed so well into the bright, loving and hilarious wee man he is today.
“In my view she is the essence of what it is to be a carer – warm, loving, determined, resilient, open and selfless.”