Teenage carer is her mum's 'bright light'
PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 January 2012 | UPDATED: 11:15 08 January 2012
MORE should be done to highlight the hard work done by young carers across the country every single day - that is the opinion of a woman who is looked after by her 14-year-old daughter.
Marie Savory, of Vicarage Close, Worle, has suffered from back pain ever since she was born because of a problem with one of the discs in her spine. She had it removed, but suffered a blood clot two days later, losing four pints of blood and leaving her with permanent nerve damage. She has had to take a cocktail of strong medication ever since.
Marie was told she would never have children, and gave birth to daughter Anne-Marie and son Ieuan against the odds.
But the problems with her back have plagued her whole life.
Last month, she had a minor heart attack and has since been diagnosed with angina.
Anne-Marie, aged 14, is now a registered carer for her mum, juggling her studies at Priory Community School in Worle with helping out at home.
The determined teenager said: “It can get a bit stressful and you worry a lot. I don’t really get to go out with friends much or things like that.”
Anne-Marie, who wants to go into fashion design when she is older, was shortlisted to be an Olympic torch carrier as part of Coca Cola’s Future Flames competition, but she narrowly missed out.
Mum Marie said: “I wanted her to be able to carry the torch so badly, because she does so much for me and she gives up her time for me. She’s my bright light.”
She said more should be done for young carers to recognise the difficulties they go through looking after ill parents and family members.
Her son Ieuan, aged 11, also suffers from severe dyspraxia, speech problems and has dormant cataracts in both eyes. He suffered complications at birth after being born with his umbilical cord wrapped round his neck.
His twin died when their mother was 12 weeks pregnant.
Ieuan now goes to Westhaven, a special educational needs school in Uphill.
Marie said: “I fought tooth and nail to get him in that school because I didn’t want him to be bullied or lose out.
“Anne-Marie has helped a great deal. She really is a miracle child.
“I feel guilty in a way for burdening her. For instance, every time she sees an ambulance in our neighbourhood she thinks it’s for me.
“Sometimes when she comes home from school she has to hold me and tell me that everything is going to be okay and that I’m a great mum. But she shouldn’t have to do that at 14.”
Anne-Marie often helps her mum get in and out of the bath, as well as helping around the house with washing, cooking and cleaning.
Marie said: “I feel bad because I can’t afford to send her on school trips or buy new things for the house very often. But she always gets a new phone every year. That’s our way of saying thank you for everything she does.”
Marie has been married to husband Richard for 15 years, describing him as ‘the most committed, romantic man in the world’.
Crossroads Care North Somerset is a support charity set up to help young carers in the area.
Currently there are more than 300 young carers in the district.
To find out more about becoming a young carer or to become a volunteer with the charity, go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a young carer struggling to find time to socialise or want to find out about meetings near you, go to www.youngcarers.net