Wife’s devotion to caring for husband after stroke

A DEVOTED wife who has cared for her husband since he suffered a stroke 23 years ago has been nominated in this year’s Comet Community Awards.

Wendy Abbott, of Spring Drive in Stevenage, has been nominated in the Carer of the Year category of the annual awards by Sheelagh Taylor, the chief executive of Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North – an organisation which provides support services to carers.

The awards aim to recognise those in the community who work hard to help others, including volunteers, parents and teachers.

Categories include Great and Green Award, Good Neighbour Award, Parent in a Million Award, Valiant Volunteer of the Year and Role Model of the Year.

Those shortlisted for each category will be invited to a special ceremony at Hitchin Town Hall on May 31.

Wendy is the full-time carer and devoted wife of Dougie. Twenty-three years ago, aged 48, Dougie went to bed with a headache and suffered a severe stroke.

“Overnight he went from an active self-employed individual to being totally dependent on his wife and the support of others,” Sheelagh explained.

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“He also suffers fits, high blood pressure and diabetes and was recently diagnosed with bowel cancer.

“Despite all that, and his physical impairments, he remains positive and brings a smile to people he meets.

“He has a loving family who are very proud of him.”

Two days each week Dougie attends the Crossroads Care Day Centre in Stevenage. He was one of the first clients at the centre when it opened in 1997.

Sheelagh said: “Wendy works tirelessly to improve the quality of his life.

“Over the years she has struggled with doctors, hospitals and statutory services to access help, advice and services, and has always fought for his rights.

“A recent example was her campaign to get a dropped kerb installed outside their flats to make access easier. Her success was due to her determination.

“Wendy deserves the accolade of Carer of the Year. She is devoted, committed and always has a smile on her face.”

This year’s Comet Community Awards are in association with Garden Square Shopping Centre in Letchworth GC, and are sponsored by North Hertfordshire College, North Hertfordshire Homes, Specsavers, VW of Letchworth, Pinehill Hospital, The Altro Group, Stevenage Community Trust, PayPoint and Morrison Utility Services.

For more information about the awards, including a full list of categories, and to make a nomination, visit www.thecomet24.co.uk/communityawards