ELY McTighe-King dedicates her life to caring for her mum.
While her friends enjoy playing out and going to school youth clubs, Ely races home to complete household chores and to check her mum, Donna, is safe and well.
To people looking in, Ely is a hero, but the modest 12-year-old says it’s just part of her life.
Her mum suffers from low blood pressure and decreased heart rate.
It causes her to collapse on a weekly basis.
And as if life wasn’t hard enough – the family were hit with a bombshell earlier this year when Donna was diagnosed with cancer.
The loving mum-of-two says it took a while for the diagnosis to hit home. Fortunately she beat the cancer.
But Donna says she wouldn’t be alive now if it wasn’t for the dedication and care of Ely.
“If it hadn’t been for Ely I wouldn’t have beaten the cancer,” said Donna, 42, who lives in Hartlepool’s Brierton Lane and is married to Trevor, 41, a plumber.
“Ely coped very well with the cancer.
“To be honest she buries her head in her studying, but she acted beyond her years and took the diagnosis well.”
Everything Ely does revolves around caring for her mum.
She makes life easier for Donna by washing, cleaning, cooking. And she is on hand to help when Donna blacks out.
Donna added: “People obviously get scared when I black out.
“Not so long ago we had someone from a magazine at our house and it happened and it really did scare him.
“But Ely knows exactly what to do in the situation.
“She doesn’t panic, she puts me in the recovery position and makes sure I’m ok.”
Donna’s black outs have led to some extremely difficult situations in the past.
As reported in the Hartlepool Mail in 2009, the mum of Ely and Rhys, 14, both students at English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College, in the town, had her handbag snatched complete with £840 as she laid unconscious in the street.
She also broke her arm when she collapsed as she was stood on a chair – incidents which make Ely even more dedicated to looking after her mum.
“I’ve just got used to looking after my mum,” said modest Ely.
“I don’t really think anything of it, it’s just part of my life.
“I love my mum, the main thing for me is making sure she is ok.
“I know she would do absolutely anything for me.”