Life-saver Leanne’s top award

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A CARER has won an award after saving a woman’s life when she choked on some food while having a fit.

Support worker Leanne Thompson, from Hartlepool, was recognised for her courage at the annual ‘Inspiring People’ awards ceremony hosted by Dimensions, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and autism.

She is one of three winners from Hartlepool to pick up one of the six awards, which are aimed at valuing the organisation’s staff and recognising good practice.

Leanne cares for a woman in Hartlepool with high support needs who one day started to have a seizure while she was eating.

Leanne noticed this immediately and started to try and remove a blockage by using back slaps and the Heimlich manoeuvre.

When this didn’t work she began resuscitation until paramedics arrived.

Jackie Milburn, assistant operations director for Dimensions in the North-East, nominated Leanne for the award and said: “Leanne saved a life with her courageous and speedy actions; she did not panic.

“The ambulance crew commended Leanne and congratulated her on acting so fast in such an emotional, frantic and unexpected situation. The person we support made a full recovery in her home and Leanne should be very proud of her actions that day.”

Geoff Rose, presenting Leanne her award, said: “At Dimensions, we are guided by the courage of our convictions to make a difference. For Leanne, that was the difference between life and death.

“When faced with a situation where somebody’s life was in her hands, she had the courage to take action and put what she had learned in training into practice.”

A team of carers also picked up an award for caring of a man in his 50s who has an autistic spectrum condition, a moderate learning disability and other diagnosed conditions including bi-polar disorder and OCD.

The Hartlepool man now lives in his own home, but previously lived in treatment and assessment centres and his quality of life was poor.

Service manager Angie Lilley, who nominated the team, said: “The team were recruited specifically for him and the ambition they have shown has helped him to transform his life.”

The third winner was the staff team in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool. Service manager Lisa Coull nominated the team for their respect for one particular man they supported who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, before his death in November.

Lisa said: “The whole team supported him in a truly dedicated and person centred way. They continued that support in a respectful and dignified way throughout the last year of his life, ensuring he lived his life to the full and continued to be an active part of his community.

“This outstanding support was recognised and commended by his family and the wider health professionals working with him.”