Despite facing daily pain and regular treatments for a medical condition, Mariah Lodge, who is a student at Thorns Collegiate Academy in Brierly Hill, has continued to make a positive impact through her work with St John Ambulance Cadets and Dudley Group Hospitals.
Mariah also played a key role in the launch of Dudley Group’s paediatric virtual ward which opened in March 2022.
This ward provides valuable feedback and support for families and is the first of its kind in the UK.
Patients who would otherwise be treated in hospital, are able to be treated in their homes, enabling earlier supported discharge and reduced admissions.
Thorns Collegiate Academy has been supporting Mariah’s academic journey by providing her with the necessary technology and resources to ensure success in her studies as she learns from home.
Mariah said: “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far in fighting my illness. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of the outreach nurses, St John Cadets and Thorns Collegiate Academy.”
As a member of St John Ambulance Cadets, which is part of the NHS Youth Programmes operating across England, Mariah continues to gain valuable experiences and learn new skills, building her awareness of volunteering in the NHS and benefitting the community.
Louise Dunn, paediatric community lead nurse, said: “As a community children’s nursing team, we nominated Mariah for this award because of her resilience over the past few years.
"Despite all of her challenges, she always has a positive attitude and shows bravery and maturity.”
Mariah was recently surprised with the award during a presentation ceremony at St Paul’s Church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Principal of Thorns Collegiate Academy, Manny Kelay, said: “On behalf of all staff at Thorns, we would like to congratulate Mariah on this fantastic achievement.
"We are all very proud of her and grateful for her contributions to the community.”