An inspirational youngster who took to the stage at last year’s the Best of South Tyneside Awards just weeks after having a stroke has been nominated for the Young Performer award once again.
Singer Ellie Stephenson, 13, has had an incredible journey back to health after fighting back from the brink of death as a baby.
The young starlet from Jarrow was born suffering with meconium aspiration syndrome - a serious condition where a newborn breathes in a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid into the lungs around the time of delivery.
As a baby, Ellie was put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine – which acted as her heart and lungs – to keep her alive and her parents were told she would not be able to walk or talk but she defied their expectations.
In April last year Ellie was rushed to South Tyneside District Hospital where it was confirmed she had suffered a mini-stroke.
Doctors believed the condition could be behind her stroke after a MRI scan showed scarring on her brain.
Despite her health battle the youngster still managed to take to the stage of the Customs House, in South Shields, in the Gazette’s Young Performer of the Year talent contest.
Now she has been nominated once again for the accolade - sponsored by Port of Tyne - and proud mum Lisa Stephenson is looking forward to seeing her shine.
She said: “She is doing well and has just finished her first year at St. Wilfrid’s R.C.College.
“She loves it there and has a few charity events coming up where she will sing.
“Recently she has supported the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and the Cruse Crew - through which she has made some amazing friends.
“She loves the local area and supporting the charities in South Tyneside.
“The people of South Tyneside have been very supportive of Ellie throughout all her highs and lows.
“She loved performing at last year’s event and I am so proud of her.”
Sponsoring the overall Best of South Tyneside Awards this year is electronics giant Siemens as the headline sponsor, along with a host of category sponsors including, Harlow Print, Northumbrian Water, South Shields Football Club and the Customs House.
We are asking for nominations to be submitted by Friday, September 1.
After the deadline there will be a night of live performances by all of the young contenders in the running and that will be held on September 5, at the Customs House.
The top three will then be chosen by judges to move on to the Best of South Tyneside grand finale at the Quality Hotel, in Boldon on September 21.
These are the sections to choose from:
• Role Model
• Neighbour of the Year
• Greener South Tyneside
• Child of Achievement
• Fundraiser of the Year
• Entrepreneur of the Year
• Carer of the Year
• Sporting Excellence
• Sports Team of the Year
* Young Sportsperson of the Year
• Community Champion
• Student of the Year
• Community Group
• Volunteer of the Year
• Child of Courage
• Young Performer of the Year
• Lifetime Contribution
To make a nomination, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the category you wish to nominate and provide your full contact details, including email address and phone number along with those of your nominee.
Nominations can also be posted to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.