A DEVOTED mother could soon have a Pride of South Tyneside Award to match the one her brave daughter picked up two years ago.
Mandy Garrod, 30, of Amble Avenue, Horsley Hill, South Shields, has been nominated for Carer of the Year for the support she gives three-year-old Gracie-Mae.
The youngster suffers from the rare genetic condition Saethre-Chitzen syndrome, which prevents the skull from growing normally and can lead to delayed development and learning difficulties.
She was also born with two holes in her heart, which required surgery, and has been diagnosed with epilepsy.
She is tube-fed and has also lost an eye to glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve.
Gracie-Mae won Child of Courage in the 2011 Pride of South Tyneside Awards, and now her mum has been put forward for a gong by her mother, Janette, 52, who lives near her daughter in Druridge Crescent.
She said: “Gracie-Mae was born with half a chromosome missing, which means she has loads of problems and needs constant care.
“She is tube-fed because she can’t eat, although she has started eating little bits. She is epileptic and has to go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a metal plate in her head.
“Mandy has spent the whole of the past three years with her and has never been out on her own because she doesn’t like to leave her.
“She has been a proper brick and has had to take everything as each day comes.”
Mandy is also mum to Callum, 13, who has also been “fantastic” in coming to terms with his sister’s disability and helping to look after her.
The Pride of South Tyneside Awards, organised by the Gazette, South Tyneside Council and the Customs House, recognise the borough’s unsung heroes.
Ten awards will be handed out in a glittering ceremony at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields on Sunday.