Brave schoolboy and courageous and dedicated volunteer are our Suffolk stars
22:38 19 November 2015
Sarah Lucy brown
Thomas Cotton tonight stole our hearts as he was named joint Star of Suffolk 2015 along with St John Ambulance volunteer Bryony Charles.
The seven-year-old, who underwent major brain surgery, raced onto stage, and proudly told us all about his operation.
He won the Young Person of the Year award before being named an overall winner.
Ms Charles, St John Ambulance volunteer, was joint overall winner - the first time the award has been shared by two equally deserving candidates.
The Volunteer of the Year was injured in an accident at Foxhall Stadium on June 13 while on duty.
She was thrown in the air like a rag doll and suffered a fractured ankle, two broken vertebrae, a lacerated liver, bleed to the kidney and the ligaments in her right leg had to be reconstructed.
The 23-year-old said: “I can’t remember anything from about 10 minutes before until I got to intensive care. I have a few vague memories of A&E.
Far from being put off volunteering, Ms Charles soon returned to duties, working in communication as she is still unable to walk without the aid of crutches.
AS she was named overall winner, Ms Charles said she was in shock, admitting she had seen so many deserving winners throughout the evening, and didn’t think she was even in with a chance of winning.
Ms Charles, from Bury St Edmunds, was presented with a voucher for a cruise with Fred.Olsen Travel.
Thomas told us that thanks to the doctors who performed his surgery, he believed in “magic” - and he was given an apt prize of a family holiday to Disneyland Paris.
• Read more in tomorrow’s paper plus see all the photos in our special eight-page supplement on Monday.