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'Amazing' gran wins UK carer honour.

Byline: Mark Smith Health Correspondent mark.smith@walesonline.co.uk

A SELFLESS pensioner who cares for her severely disabled daughter and granddaughter has been honoured for her tireless dedication to the role.

Rosemary Dungey, from Barry, was one of just five carers across the UK to be honoured at the Lloyds Pharmacy National Carers Awards 2016 in London on Friday.

The 77-year-old has spent the past two decades caring for her daughter Pam Dungey and granddaughter Laura Clode who both have a rare spinal condition called Scheuermann's disease.

The painful and debilitating disease, which typically affects people in their teenage years, leads to a deformity of the spinal cord and affects mobility.

Although both Pam and Laura are now housebound, the incurable condition is far more severe for former Howell's School pupil Laura, 24, who also suffers up to nine or 10 non-epileptic seizures a day.

Despite looking after her daughter and young grand-daughter almost every day for several years, Rosemary said she felt undeserving of such an accolade.

"I don't do it for praise or money. I do it because I love them both very much," said keen gardener Rosemary. "It's rare for a woman of my age to be needed so much. It just goes to prove my life's work is far from over."

Pam, who is able to get around the house using a wheelchair, was struck down with Scheuermann's disease in her late 20s shortly after giving birth to Laura.

She said she was "devastated" when she was told her precious daughter also had the rare condition six years ago - despite being told it wasn't hereditary.

"For Laura the condition is all-encompassing and it's destroyed her life," she said. "She has been bedridden since she was 18, but as a parent I'm trying to find a way for her to live with the condition.

"It's been difficult for her both physically and mentally. She suffers horrific seizures which can last up to four hours."

Pam, who nominated Rosemary for the prestigious national award, said her mum has been her saviour in her darkest times. "Without my mum I know Laura, and probably me, would be in some kind of care," she added.

"She is absolutely amazing. From the minute she comes in through the door she picks up our washing, she's down on her hands and knees washing the floors - and she can iron for Britain.

"We have been many pretty dire situations, but in the middle of it all you have to find humour somewhere - and we do manage to have a laugh."

Rosemary met Minister of State for Community and Social Care Alistair Burt MP at 10 Downing Street on Friday before getting her award at a ceremony in the Millennium Hotel, London.

CAPTION(S):

| Rosemary Dungey, from Barry, was one of five carers across the UK to be honoured at the Lloyds Pharmacy National Carers Awards 2016. Rosemary is pictured with her daughter Pam. Below, Pam's granddaughter Laura Clode with her budgie, Buddy

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 31, 2016
Words:500
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