NW ‘true heroes’ in frontline care up for top award

Two local homecare workers who moved in with a vulnerable client after she tested positive for Covid-19 have been shortlisted to win one of the UK care sector’s top awards.

Chloe Kelly, Connected Health Care Assistant, Laura Magee, and Lauren Kelly, Connected Health Care Assistant.
Chloe Kelly, Connected Health Care Assistant, Laura Magee, and Lauren Kelly, Connected Health Care Assistant.

Sisters Lauren and Chloe Kelly, from Aghanloo, Limavady, have been recognised by the Home Care Insight and Care Home Professional ‘Leaders in Care Awards’ 2021 with a nomination for the prestigious ‘Frontline Carer of the Year’ accolade.

The big-hearted Connected Health carers hit the headlines during last year’s lockdown when they were hailed as “true heroes” for making the decision to temporarily move in with Laura Magee (27) after she tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2020.

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Laura, who is from Derry’s Waterside, requires 24-hour assistance and only started receiving home care in August 2020, having spent long periods in hospital.

The ‘Frontline Carer of the Year’ award is dedicated to recognising unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their clients, thinking of innovative ways to boost morale, and always showing kindness, empathy and dedication.

And, for Connected Health Director of People, Julie Cordner, the nomination in the UK-wide awards is no less than Lauren and Chloe deserve for “going well above and beyond the call of duty”.

She said: “It was when Laura was in hospital awaiting a package of care that she first met Lauren and Chloe who were providing care services to help relieve hospital staffing pressures caused by Covid-19.

“The nursing staff in the hospital were so impressed with the relationship that Laura built with the Connected Health team that they approached us to take on her care package in the community. The two sisters are true heroes for their selfless attitudes and caring actions. As an employer, we at Connected Health would love them to be recognised for their leadership, resilience and kindness.”

Lauren had also tested positive for Covid-19 but, rather than isolating alone, she made the selfless decision to move in with Laura, explaining that it made “perfect sense” to do so.

Initially, Chloe did not test positive for Covid-19 but, after making the brave decision to join her sister, she also started displaying symptoms within a few days

At the height of her illness, Laura suffered a seizure brought on by a high temperature and needed emergency medical assistance.

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Lauren and Chloe both administered first aid while waiting for the ambulance and rapid response vehicle. Thankfully, Laura was treated at home and was able to remain there. All three fully recovered from Covid-19.

“It was so kind for them to come live with me…I was terrified about, maybe, having to go back to hospital,” Laura Magee said.

The winners of the 2021 ‘Leaders in Care Awards’ will be announced at a ceremony in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday, October 13.