Caring Mollie’s in line for young hero honour

March 28 2014

FAIRFIELD High School student Mollie Barnett has been shortlisted for one of the inaugural Bristol Young Heroes Awards.

March 28 2014

FAIRFIELD High School student Mollie Barnett has been shortlisted for one of the inaugural Bristol Young Heroes Awards.
Mollie, 11, from Horfield, is nominated in the Young Carer category for the way she supports her dad Paul and sister Annie, in spite of her own health problems.
Mollie has Marfan's Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that also affects her father. Both Mr Barnett and Annie are visually impaired, so from a young age Mollie has had to be their “eyes”.
“She finds things when we can't find them at home. When we are out, Mollie looks for bus numbers, street signs and trip hazards. It has made her very independent,” said Mr Barnett.
Mollie, who like her father and sister had to have surgery to correct curvature of the spine, is likely to face heart surgery in her teens because of a weak aortic wall.
Mr Barnett has had cardiac surgery three times and has had a heart attack but he said that people with Marfan's, a connective tissue disorder, had a normal life expectancy.
Annie, 14, who goes to Kingsweston School, has autism and global developmental delay.
Mollie assists her dad around the house and helps look after her sister as well as coping with her own difficulties. She was put forward for the award by her tutor at Fairfield, James Barnes.
He said: “Mollie is one of the most positive pupils we have and is living her life to the full despite her restrictions. Nothing seems to get her down. She tackles life and school especially with enthusiasm and motivation.”
Fairfield High School has supported Year 7 student Mollie with her responsibilities and encouraged her to seek help from the Bristol Integrated Carers Team.
She said: “Being recognised as a Young Carer at school has opened up opportunities for me such as being involved in a drama group, something I have wanted to do for a long time, and helping me with applying for funding to buy a laptop. It is good to know that I am not alone.”