76 year old Dorothy is honoured for her courageThursday 15 March 2012
Health Minister Edwin Poots, local celebrities, Government and Health representatives honoured the achievements of stroke survivors at the first ever Northern Ireland Stroke Awards on Thursday 8 March in the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.
Among the winners was 76 year old Dorothy Neill, who was nominated by a neighbour as a person of courage in the category of ‘coping after a stroke’.
Dorothy, who lives in Dromore and attends the Dromore Cathedral craft group, had a severe stroke 4 years ago which left her with little use of her left
arm and difficulty in walking. She fought hard to overcome these
immense problems and has relearnt how to sew (she has made beautiful
quilts) and knit (she knits baby garments for use at the Neo–natal unit
in the RVH).
Dorothy is even more inspirational as a person, given that she became deaf in her teens and has lived with speech and communication difficulties all her life. She attends the Kinghan Church for the Deaf twice a month and Revd Canon Will Murphy describes her as someone with “a wonderful sense of joy in her life”.
Famous faces attending the event, which was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, included BBC’s Noel Thompson, Downtown Radio’s Candy Devine, playwright Martin Lynch, actor and comedian Tim Megarry, Everest climber Dawson Stelfox and local artist Julian Friers.
A total of nine Northern Ireland Stroke Awards were handed out on what proved to be an emotional evening for both winners and guests alike.
Tom Richardson, Director for the Stroke Association Northern Ireland commented: “Around thirty two thousand people across Northern Ireland are living with the effects of stroke. The Northern Ireland Stroke Awards not only highlight how stroke can affect anyone at any age, but also the impact the condition has on families, carers and health care professionals. All of the award winners have shown tremendous courage in rebuilding their lives after a stroke or in helping others to do the same. I am delighted that we are able to recognise and celebrate their achievements with some of our esteemed friends and colleagues.”
The Stroke Association also unveiled its new brand at the event which will be publicly launched in May as part of the new Action on Stroke month.
Dorothy Neil, winner of the Adult Courage (over 65) Award, pictured with Downtown Radio’s Candy Devine and Tom Richardson, NI Director Stroke Association.