Courageous Connor picks up national bravery award after battling back from terrible burns

Connor Rowntree with his mum Carol. The Sunderland teenager suffered serious burns to his face and body.
Connor Rowntree with his mum Carol. The Sunderland teenager suffered serious burns to his face and body.
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A COURAGEOUS teenager who suffered 90 per cent burns to his body is to be recognised for his bravery at a national awards ceremony.

Connor Rowntree, who was injured in a house fire three years ago, has been named a winner in the national WellChild Awards 2011.

Connor, 17, was picked from nominations from across the UK to win the category of Bravest Young Person and will collect his award in London later this month.

The ceremony celebrates children and young people coping with serious illness or complex conditions and honours the dedication of professionals going the extra mile to help the sick children and their families.

Connor, from Newbottle, spent months in hospital battling for his life and was near death on several occasions after the fire which left him with third degree burns covering most of his body.

The teenager fought through hundreds of painful procedures and skin grafts after the fire in 2009.

Julie Mullen, crew manager from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, nominated Connor for the award, along with his mum, Carol.

Julie said: “Connor has never shied away from life but through sheer selfless determination is not only making the most of the life he so nearly lost but putting something back for others.

“He truly is an inspirational and a worthy winner,” added Julie.

Connor went on to use his experiences to educate other youngsters in the danger of playing with fire and has assisted Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service with fire safety campaigns.

Connor will collect his prize on August 31 at an awards service in London in a star-studded event at the Inter Continental London Park Lane Hotel.

Connor said: “It’s great being selected for the award. I think it’s important to let people know the dangers that fire can do and prevent it happening to other people.”

Connor is now at college training to repair bodywork on cars but hopes to one day put his experiences to help people every day.

Connor said: “College is going really well but I would like to one day work for the Fire Service to help other people.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho