Darlington widower who looked after his disabled wife nominated for national carers' award (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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'Dad made the hard times seem not so hard', says daughter
2:29pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A NORTH-EAST businessman who spent more than 20 years caring for his disabled wife has been shortlisted for a national award.
Martin Healey, from Darlington, put his own ambitions on hold when his wife, Mandy, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) aged 30.
MS is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults. About 100,000 people in the UK are sufferers.
Symptoms can include loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems. There is no cure for the condition.
Mr Healey devoted his time to ensuring his wife had a high standard of living and has now been nominated for the MS Society’s carer of the year award.
He carried out endless amounts of research to ensure his wife could have the latest wheelchairs, exercise machines, house modifications and the best daytime carers.
The pair, who wed at 18, enjoyed 35 years of marriage until Mrs Healey passed away in 2011.
Inspired by assisting his wife, Mr Healey started a business to help others diagnosed with similar conditions.
Martin Healey Vehicle Adaptions sells customised vehicles for people with MS and other disabilities.
The company also adapts cars, enabling MS suffers to experience the freedom and independence that comes with driving.
The couple’s daughter, Kerry-Jayne, nominated her father for the award.
She said: “My father changed the life of my mother and provided her with such love, fun and hope.
“He always managed to make the hard times seem not so hard.
“Not only did he bring happiness and enjoyment to my mother, who suffered painful symptoms, he brought me up and started a business from the ground helping others who are disabled.”
The annual MS Society awards ceremony will be held on October 17, at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
The awards recognise and reward those who work hard to improving the lives of people affected by MS.
The judges for the ‘MS Carer of the Year’ category looked for people who have enabled MS sufferers to lead an independent life.
Patricia Gordon, acting chief executive of the MS Society, said: “Martin’s commitment to supporting Mandy throughout her MS, and helping improve the lives of others living with MS and other disabilities, makes him a very deserving finalist for the award.”
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