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Nicole honoured for saving her mum

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Nicole honoured for saving her mum thumbnailNicole Flanagan with her parents and family after receiving her award from Trevor Taylor, deputy president of The William Keown Trust

RATHFRILAND girl Nicole Flanagan has been awarded a Special Certificate of Merit for helping her mum after she suffered a fit at home.

When her mother, Tara collapsed at home with a seizure, nine-year-old Nicole showed great initiative and rang her classroom assistant asking her to come and help her mum.

It was the first time Nicole, who has epilepsy and is on the autism spectrum, had ever phoned anyone. She also ran to her neighbour's house to alert them, with the neighbour phoning for an ambulance.

Tara said the family was "delighted" with Nicole's nomination.

"We were absolutely delighted when they contacted us to put her name forward for a nomination. We were extremely proud when we were told she would be getting a child of courage award," she said.

"They wrote to me after seeing the article in your paper and asked would we put her forward for the award." The awards ceremony was held last week at Lagan Valley Island Civic Centre, Lisburn where 30 others received Personal Achievement awards from the charity set up by proactive disability campaigner Mourne man, the late William Keown.

Nicole, her parents and her sister Ella and brother Corey all attended to celebrate and Banbridge Accordion Orchestra provided the music for the event.

"It was a lovely day. Nicole got her award and then there was a magician and a b u ffe t . " Tara said Nicole was "absolutely delighted to have gotten the award".

"Even though she is extremely shy about it, I know she is very proud.

"She was delighted to take it to her school (Iveagh Primary School) and show it to everyone." Tara spent a few days in hospital after her seizure and was able to spend Christmas at home.

"Thankfully I have not had another seizure since I had the one in December and this Christmas will be a lot different than last.

"Last Christmas I was not too well and c a n't remember much of it, but this Christmas we will have a new addition to the family! We're due our fourth baby in December.

"We are all just extremely proud of Nicole. She is showing us that autism and epilepsy isn't going to stop her or hold her back.

"Even though there are days she really struggles and now that she is getting to an age where she realises she is different than others her age, she still tries her best and amazes us every day.

"She amazes me and her dad every day and we couldn't be any prouder." Judges who selected Nicole for the honour describe her as a "a quiet girl with a heart of gold".

"When her mother collapsed with a seizure, Nicole showed her initiative by running for a neighbour and then phoning her classroom assistant to ask for help.

"By her quick thinking she was able to get the urgent help her mother needed."

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