AN Anglesey carer who helped save the life of a much loved member of her extended family has scooped a top honour at the Wales health care ‘Oscars’.

Marie Smith achieved a bronze honour for her outstanding service and dedication to helping others at the Wales Care Awards 2019.

Mario Kreft, Chair of Care Forum Wales, which runs the awards annually, said Marie was one of the deserving winners who judges took off their hats to for their selflessness and unstinting commitment.

The award comes not long after Marie and her husband acted quickly when one of three adults in their care suffered a life-threatening seizure out of the blue. Julie, aged 55, who has down’s Syndrome, collapsed suddenly while the family were at home.

Julie had never suffered anything like it before. But fortunately Tim had completed a first aid course only a week earlier. He knew immediately what to do and gave Julie CPR while Marie rang the paramedics.

Tim continued CPR until the emergency services arrived. The couple’s quick thinking actions were praised by doctors.

Marie’s Silver accolade achievement has delighted Gwynedd and Anglesey Shared Lives Scheme manager Lowri Matulla who nominated her and paid tribute to the way she and Tim care for those in need who live with them.

Marie is proud to be registered with the Shared Lives Scheme, which delivers invaluable assistance to people in need of a home and extra help.

The couple also share their home with two other adults Stevie and Rachel as part of the Shared Lives Scheme remit to offer respite, short term placements and long term live-in support for people living with conditions including dementia, physical disability, mental health issues, learning disability and brain injury.

Marie, 47, said: “We’re not a family in the traditional sense, but we’re a family all the same, and care for each other very much. It’s so rewarding being part of such a crucial support network.”

Her award was presented during a glittering ceremony and dinner to which all the nominees and their guests were invited. It was hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.

The annual Wales Care Awards event has become affectionately known as the Wales health care Oscars and is a highlight of the social care sector calendar.

Marie, of Caergeiliog, Anglesey, achieved success in the category for Excellence in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services, sponsored by Morgan La Roche solicitors.

Gwynedd and Anglesey Shared Lives Scheme manager Lowri Matulla added: “All three adults who live with Marie and Tim have different needs. To look at the household composition on paper one would think the dynamics could never work, but Marie has a way of meeting all three’s needs.

“The family do everything together – including watching international rugby. They all wear Wales rugby shirts when visiting the pub to watch games.”

Marie started her career aged 16, as a care home assistant on the then government-sponsored Youth Training Scheme. She continued in residential homes for many years before moving to Shared Lives.

She said: “The idea of opening our home to help others seemed a natural step forward and offered me a chance to make a real difference as a carer.”

Chairman of Care Forum Wales, Mario Kreft praised Marie’s dedication to helping others and said she was a prime example of the extremely high standard of entries in this year’s awards.

He added: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.

“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come.

“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales."