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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 19 May 2022

Teen with cancer wins award for caring for his sick mother

Jamie Mooney has been caring for his mother since he was a small child.

Image: hospital image via Shutterstock.com

TWENTY ONE FAMILY carers from across Ireland were presenting with special awards today at The Carers Association annual awards ceremony.

Scooping the Young Carer of the Year award was 17-year-old Jamie Mooney from Shankill in Co Dublin who has provided care for his mother Sabrina Mooney since he was a small child. The 35-year-old was diagnosed with Meningitis at 19 and suffered a stroke.

Shortly after Jamie was born she was diagnosed with Epilepsy and he has often called ambulances for her and talked medical personnel through her condition while she was having seizures, which could be a couple of times a week.

After his eight-year-old sister Lexie was born, he helped care for her too while his dad, a chef, was at work.

Earlier this year, Jamie himself was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy which is due to finish the week before Christmas. Despite everything, the 17-year-old remains positive and always checks his mother is doing alright. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Jamie has just finished work experience at Chapter One which he really enjoyed.

The Carer of the Year award went to 69-year-old Madeleine Morrissey from Kiltealy in Co Wexford who provides full time care for her three adult children Jay (40) Pat (38) and Sheila (36) who have intellectual disabilities.

Jay has epilepsy and can have seizures at any time. Pat has eczema which means he needs to be bathed regularly with special cream applied every day. Their mother also cares for her 93-year-old mother-in-law, lighting fires, cooking for her and providing anything she needs.

According to a study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, one third of Irish women aged 50 – 69, just like Morrissey, provide care for both older parents and dependent children. After 30 years in the disability system it is only in recent years that Madeleine and her husband, Patsy, have gotten some respite care for Jay, Pat and Sheila. This typically equates to two to three weeks each year. Madeleine won’t go away for a weekend as she is afraid something will happen and wants to be close by.

“While caring is often a very challenging role, family carers provide care with love and find it a very rewarding experience,” commented Catherine Cox, Head of Communications for the association said at the awards. “We want to celebrate the enormous contribution and loving care provided by our family carers with these awards.”

Read: ‘We had to face facts that maybe our little girl was not going to make it’>

Read: The number of people receiving a carer’s allowance has increased by 40%>

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