Child of Courage 2015

What an achievement for a 17 month old, the Pride of Essex Child of Courage 2015 Winner, Aiden is a true superstar and inspiration.

Aiden was nominated in the Child of Courage category in this year’s Pride of Essex Awards by the Brainwave centre in Witham.  Aiden regularly attends Brainwave for additional physiotherapy and occupational therapy to supplement the therapy he receives through the NHS.  Aiden only began treatment at Brainwave in February 2015 and we have already been able to see the progress he has made thanks to all the input he receives.

Some months ago we attended a supporters evening held at the centre and as parent ambassadors we spoke about Aiden’s start in life and how he wasn’t expected to survive after not taking his first breath for 28 minutes.  We are so passionate about our son that we spoke about the inchstones he makes and how these one day will turn into milestone, his infectious smile and laugh, how he brightens our days and how he is determine to succeed.  Aiden was also there and stole the show, as usual he turned on the charm and beamed for all the supporters.  It is rewarding for us as parents to be able to go along to these charity celebration nights and give people an insight into our lives and how supporting such valuable charities really does make a difference, not only to the child but to the wider family.

It was later mentioned to us that several people had shown an interest in having Aiden nominated in the Pride of Essex Awards, we all of course were flattered.  Several weeks later we were again approached for a bit of further information on Aiden, what he had achieved, he medical research he had been involved in, his likes, his family, what he enjoyed and how much money he had helped raise for various charities, which is now in excess of £30,000.00.

After Aiden’s nomination was submitted, we didn’t hear anything and really just thought it was wonderful to be nominated as there are so many deserving and courageous children in Essex.

We were wonderfully surprised when an invitation to the event and guest tickets landed on the doormat, this meant Aiden had been shortlisted as a finalist.  In fact, he was down to the final 5!  Again we never thought Aiden would win, he is only 17 months and although he has achieved a lot for his age there are other children will many more years on Aiden, we thought to ourselves, one day when he’s older he’ll be nominated again and win.

The Awards night was fantastic, the atmosphere was alive with congratulations, excitement and for me the amazement at what people had and were overcoming in their own lives.

After we were seated (luckily we were able to snag a few extra tickets so Aiden had an entourage there to support him).  The stories of selflessness, commitment to community and raising awareness flowed, it really is wonderful hearing such inspirational stories, everyone such a deserving winner.

Finally it was the Child of Courage Award, as the names began to be called and the back stories told, we kept thinking, Aiden will be next, as the names counted down to the final 2 we really couldn’t believe it and then the announcement came that the Child of Courage 2015 was our very own Aiden Mitchell.

Aiden’s picture and story were told, there was an audible gasp when it was revealed Aiden did not take his first breath for 28 minutes and wasn’t expected to live.  A picture of Aiden beaming at the camera was displayed and we accepted his Award from Susie Cornell MBE founder of the awards and James Graham X-Factor contestant to an incredible around of applause.

Our little superstar was a winner (he was already a winner in our eyes), he was overwhelmed with the occasion and having to stay up past his bedtime but once he composed himself his smile shone out again.  (We had also just managed to compose ourselves and wipe away the tears of joy and happiness)

After the Awards had finished we all proceed out for a lovely buffet and drinks, Aiden was congratulated by so many wonderful people.  We all felt on top of the world and I knew from that moment, that no matter what Aiden does or doesn’t achieve he will always be supported and surrounded in love by so many people, not just friends and family but strangers and those who are keen charity supporters, in many ways my faith in humanity was restored, there are such kind, considerate, compassionate and caring people in the world and they’re that not hard to find.

Now we’re looking to the future with renewed hope and determination, if Aiden can do so much in such a short space of time, the possibilities are endless.  Our focus is now firmly on getting Aiden to America for intensive physiotherapy, we hope to soon have an assessment for hippotherapy, we’re looking at alternative therapy’s such as hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions all while carrying on with enabling him to reach his full potential and making his surroundings as comfortable and loving as possible.

Aiden, you’re my true hero.

More pictures to follow . . . . .  .

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