By Lynda Kiernan firstname.lastname@example.org@laoisnews
The Laois Carer of the Year award has been presented to a busy mother of three from The Swan, described by organisers as “a truly remarkable person”.
Sarah Jayne Mangan cares full time for her twin sons aged 15 years.
Jack is a double leg amputee and Joseph is on the autism spectrum. She also helps care for her husband John who has had surgery on his back.
“We are absolutely delighted that Sarah Jayne Mangan has been awarded Laois Carer of the Year 2016. Sarah Jayne is a truly remarkable person, who provides much love and care to her family,” said Lisa Weldon Family Carers Ireland (FCI), who presented Sarah Jayne with a certificate at a special ceremony held in her honour at Town House, High Street, Tullamore on November 2.
“Sarah never complains and always puts the needs of others before hers,” Ms Weldon said.
It has been a long road for the Mangan family and Sarah Jayne said her children have been her inspiration.
“I am very proud of my children. Jack won best junior male wheelchair basketball player of the year last year, and I was told Joseph would never read and write. He can do both, he finds it hard but can do it. They are my inspiration,” she told the Leinster Express.
She said the award ceremony was overwhelming.
“I just look after my family which is what I do as a wife and a mother. Everyone was really lovely on the day,” she said.
Her husband John posted a heartfelt message online.
"To my beautiful wonderful wife, thank you very much from me and the children, you really do deserve it, you always put us first, love always, your 'lucky to have you' family," he wrote.
The Offaly Carer of the Year award was presented at the same ceremony, to Martin Bracken, Clara, who cares for his wife Breda who has Lewy Body Parkinsons.
"Carers play an absolutely vital role in society, and they are at times the forgotten workforce. The Carers of the Year Awards present an opportunity to celebrate the dedication and support carers provide to their loved ones every day throughout the year.” Ms Weldon said.
Carers of the Year from each county will attend a ceremony in Dublin on November 16, honouring award recipients from across the country, with an award for an overall family carer.
“ I am really looking forward to meeting other family carers,” Mrs Mangan said, thanking the organisers.
"Thank you to everyone today, really had a lovely time, I was completely overwhelmed. Thanks to all of the carers team and well done Martin on your award for Offaly," she said.
This is the tenth year of the awards ceremony, and for the first time, there will be four regional Young Carers of the Year Awards.
2015 saw a 400% increase in nominations for Young Carer of the Year.