A GORNAL mum who has dedicated the last eight years of her life to her son after he suffered a devastating brain injury is up for a top award in recognition of her efforts.

Jackie Flavell has not only cared for her son Luke, but she has also helped set up a support group to help others in a similar situation.

She is now in the running for the title of Carer of the Year at an annual awards ceremony organised by brain injury charity Headway.

Jackie said: "I was really shocked and touched when I got told I was a finalist for such a prestigious award. It was a lovely moment."

Luke sustained a traumatic brain injury in July 2012 when his car skidded and crashed into a lamppost during a heavy rainstorm.

He was in a coma for nine days and his parents were told three times that he was going to die. After intense treatment, he pulled through but had to spend a further eight months in hospital where he had to relearn how to walk and talk.

When he returned home Jackie became his full-time carer and now, thanks to her diligent care, Luke is on track to living an indepedent life.

Jackie said: “I’m hugely proud of Luke. To see how far he has come fills me with such admiration.

“Life has been tough over the past few years but you have to just keep on going. You have to learn to really enjoy the good days, and when the bad days come, and they will, you have to keep going, always remembering the good times will be back.”

Alongside caring for Luke, Jackie helps out at Headway Black Country’s Carer’s Support Group, fundraises for the charity and has co-founded another support group called Heads-Up aimed at friends, family and survivors of brain injuries which now has more than 50 members.

Jackie was nominated by her friend and supporter of Headway Black Country, Kerry Foster.

Kerry said: “Jackie is a very special lady and is always looking at ways to help others.

“Jackie has a whole load of her own problems but always makes time for each and every one of us, nothing is ever too much trouble, she is an inspiration and a true and loyal friend - everyone needs a Jackie in their lives.”

Jackie will discover if she will be named Carer of the Year at a glittering ceremony at the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair, London on Friday December 6.