Bravery award for Sunnylands pupil Scott

Sunnylands pupil Scott Shardlow with his mum, Julie. INCT 26-237-AM
Sunnylands pupil Scott Shardlow with his mum, Julie. INCT 26-237-AM

A Sunnylands Primary School pupil whose quick thinking may have saved his mum’s life has been presented with an award for bravery.

Scott Shardlow (9) was given the accolade on Monday morning, during a special assembly at the school.

Earlier this month, the P5 youngster rushed to alert neighbours when his mum Julie fell ill.

Julie suffers from a rare neurological disorder known as benign intracranial hypertension.

The condition, the cause of which is unknown, leads to a build-up of pressure around the brain.

The mum-of-four has endured numerous operations since being diagnosed with the condition in 2009.

Despite having a permanent shunt fitted to drain fluid from her brain, she still suffers from severe headaches.

And on June 8, Julie’s condition worsened to the extent that Scott raised the alarm with a neighbour.

“I was very unwell, in a lot of pain and drifting in and out of sleep on the sofa for nearly 12 hours,” recalled Julie, from the Sunnylands area of the town.

“Scott knows my pain limits and he knew this time something wasn’t right. He got worried and ran across the street to alert a neighbour, who in turn rang for an ambulance.

“I was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and had two brain surgeries within 48 hours, the problem being that my shunt in the right side of my brain was totally blocked.”

Thankfully, surgeons were able to intervene and replace the blocked shunt.

“Had it not been for my son, things could have been a lot more serious,” said Julie. “I would have been at risk from seizures, blindness, and other repercussions due to the increased pressure on the brain.

“I just want to show Scott how important it was that he did what he did, even though he was very scared. He potentially saved my life.”

Commending the Sunnylands pupil for his “bravery in action” was school principal, Gareth Hamilton. “We are very proud of Scott,” he said. “At the special assembly, we talked to the children about what it means to be a hero: it’s not just something that happens on TV shows and Scott is an example of that.”