Perth Now: Charity Barnardo’s names Faye Gill WA’s mother of the year

ONE of Faye Gill’s earliest memories of her daughter Lauren is being ferried by police escort through London streets to get her tiny newborn to the hospital’s cardiac unit.

Doctors told Mrs Gill that Lauren, who was born deaf and blind and with a severe heart condition, would never be able to communicate.

But the pair have proved them wrong. Lauren, now an adult who still needs significant care, can finger-spell, sign and read braille.

The charity Barnardos is honouring Mrs Gill’s dedication to her daughter and four other children today by naming her WA mother of the year.

“I consider the role of mother to be the most important role I’ve ever had,” Mrs Gill said.

But she said while it was an honour to be recognised, Lauren’s achievements were down to her own determination.

“To not see colour, the sky, everyday objects and faces means there’s no basis to work from,” she said.

“Everything has to be taught, nothing is learnt incidentally.

“It is possible to achieve whatever you strive for if you get the help and if you’re prepared to put in the hard work, which it was.”

Mrs Gill’s son Andrew, who nominated her, said his mother would stay up late translating textbooks into braille so Lauren could learn like any other child.

“My mother’s story is one of selflessness and strength,” he said.

“She is a beacon for the importance of mothers in our lives, a shining example for women of her generation and a tireless defender for the disadvantaged.”

Mrs Gill is in the running for Australian mother of the year, which will be decided in Sydney next month.

(This article was first published in the Perth Now and was written by Kate Emery.)