AN unstoppable mum is celebrating being shortlisted for a national entrepreneurial award – a year after being told she was just an hour away from death.
Hartlepool businesswoman Heidi Readman-Ahmed is set for a trip to a glitzy awards bash in Earl’s Court in London after being shortlisted for the finals of the What’s On 4 Me Awards.
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the 33-year-old, who suffers from severe bowel condition Crohn’s Disease, being told by medics she had come an hour away from death.
She had been at death’s door after spending six weeks in hospital and had parts of her digestive system removed following complications linked to Crohn’s.
Heidi received eight blood transfusions and suffered internal bleeding and was told her bowel had perforated.
Medics removed abscesses along with part of her small intestine, part of her large intestine, appendix and part of her small and large bowel.
The Mail reported in January that remarkably, just six weeks later, she returned to work at her Make Scents shop, in The Arches, in the town’s Park Road.
Now being shortlisted for the prestigious award, which celebrates those who provide the very best lifestyle activities, classes, events for adults across the UK, has topped off a “bizarre” year for the mum-of-two, who offers craft sessions at the shop.
Heidi thanked those who nominated her and said: “It was a year yesterday that I was told I could die, it’s been bizarre.”
Heidi, who previously told the Mail she gets on with things as she has “no stop button”, was nominated for the award by customers.
After being nominated, people could then vote for their favourites to make it to the final.
She is up for Best Music, Arts or Crafts Activities or Events Provider, against three others, from Newcastle, Durham and Doncaster.
Heidi was fitted with an ileostomy, similar to a colostomy bag, which happy-go-lucky Heidi had nicknamed her “Gucci bag”.
The Mail told in June that she was set for corrective surgery, but suffered a setback when doctors discovered her bowel may split under the pressure of surgery and the procedure was delayed.
But just days later, she opened up a second shop, in Stockton town centre.
After three months she decided to close the Stockton branch as she was missing Hartlepool too much and is now focussing all her energies on the Hartlepool shop, expanding with a wider range of gifts and homewares and rebranding by adding The Glorious Gift Emporium to the Make Scents name.
Heidi has also been nominated in the Tees Valley Best New Business Awards and finds out in February whether she has been shortlisted.
Heidi, who lives with partner Sirf Ahmed, a 40-year-old project manager, and children Manal, 11, and Aqeel, four, at Bishop Cuthbert, said: “I can’t believe I’m back up and running like I am. “It’s been a whirlwind year.”
The awards will be held on November 14.