A MUM who’s had both legs amputated has praised her carer daughter for her “heart of gold”.
Last May, Jennifer Clark, 42, from Hollycarrside, had a double below-knee amputation after being born with a rare condition which caused her feet to resemble horse hooves and left her in constant pain as it forced her to walk on her toes.
Over the years, it affected her mobility to such an extent that she opted to have a second amputation procedure, after an initial amputation to remove her feet.
The most recent operation was carried out so that account manager Jennifer could learn to walk again using prosthetic legs which would be easier to get around on than her own limbs.
Nerve damage suffered during the surgery, however, means she is still using a wheelchair for the present time.
Throughout it all daughter Annabelle, 12, has proved a real life-line.
Mum-of-six Jennifer, who was born with congenital bilateral talipes, said: “We’d be lost without her, especially this time around.
“Since my mobility started getting worse again over the last three years she has took on more and more responsibility in the house to help out with day-to-day chores as well as helping with her four younger brothers and sisters (aged two to seven).
“Not only has she done all of this but has managed to achieve and maintain top set for just about everything at school.”
She added: “Just some of the things she does is cleaning the house, doing the washing, helping me to put clothes away, getting the younger people up and ready for school, helping them with homework.
“She also helps to care for me and my needs to help ease some of the pressure off her dad and eldest brother who is in college.”
In recognition of Thornhill School pupil Annabelle’s efforts, Jennifer, who lives with husband David, 30, has nominated her for a Young Achievers’ Award.
Annabelle’s is one of scores of nominations to pour in for the awards.
Now in their 19th year, they are open to anyone living in Sunderland aged between 11 and 20 in celebration of young people’s achievements, their bravery, their talents and their positive contribution to the life of the city.
The winners will be recognised at a special ceremony at the Stadium of Light, on March 8.
Annabelle’s head of house at Thornhill School, Mark Leadbeater, said: “Annabelle has impressed me with her positive attitude and her ability to remain focused in school and is always willing to help others – the very same attributes that mam and her family witness and enjoy at home.
“Michael, Annabelle’s brother, received a Young Achievers Award in the same category in 2007.”