Inspirational Suffolk women recognised
TWO ‘remarkable’ Suffolk women have been hailed after bouncing back from tragedy.
Sally Baker and Brenda Williams have both been hit by brain injuries, the former’s so bad she couldn’t even recognise her own children.
But now they have been saluted after using their own personal experiences to help others with brain injuries.
They are among just a dozen in the UK to be nominated in an awards ceremony run by Headway, the brain injury charity.
Mrs Williams, of Flowton, near Ipswich, has been a stalwart volunteer of Headway Ipswich and East Suffolk (HIES) for the last 15 years.
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But tragedy struck two years ago when the 70-year-old suffered a stroke after being involved in a road accident. Then, just weeks later, her son, Brett, died from a brain tumour.
Despite her trauma she continued to help at Headway and she has now been nominated in the charity’s volunteer of the year category.
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“I’m very honoured to be considered for the award,” she said. “I feel very representative of the thousands of people like me across the UK who themselves have experienced tragedy and try to turn things round and to be of some use.”
Mrs Baker, from Gislingham near Eye, spent three weeks in a coma after a road smash in Sweden six years ago. The 56-year-old was so badly affected she had to relearn the most basic of life skills, including walking and talking.
She is now one of just three finalists in Headway’s campaigner of the year catergory, for her work with the Suffolk Acquired Brain Injury Forum, which tries to improve services for those affected by such injuries.
“I’m amazed to be a finalist in these awards,” she said. “The work of the forum is very important and I’m just happy to be able to help in any way I can.”
Helen Fairweather, chief executive of HIES, said: “Sally and Brenda have shown such determination. They are an inspiration.”
The duo will learn if they have won at a special ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel in London on December 9.