THE founder of a national charity has nominated a York mum for a Community Pride award after she helped save her daughter when she was struck down with meningitis.

Tracey Hegarty, 47, has been nominated in the Parent Of The Year category of The Press awards after she spotted the symptoms when her 18-year-old daughter, Holly Batten, contracted the life-threatening illness meningococcal meningitis.

As The Press reported last month, York College student Holly said she was lucky to be alive after getting meningitis and her mum reacted quickly in getting her to hospital.

Now Mrs Hegarty, of Dringthorpe Road, off Tadcaster Road, has been nominated for the award by Steve Dayman, founder of Meningitis UK, who lost his 14-month-old son Spencer to the disease 30 years ago.

Mr Dayman said: “It’s my pleasure to nominate Tracey for the award for her quick-thinking, which helped save her teenage daughter Holly from the devastation meningitis can cause.

“Holly’s case shows how fast meningitis can take hold and how it can strike anyone, of any age, at any time – even the most fit and healthy.

“It is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose as it often presents flu-like symptoms, so it’s vital that everyone knows the signs of meningitis and acts quickly like Tracey.

“Tracey’s quick-thinking and swift action clearly shows that knowing the signs and acting on instinct can truly be the difference between life and death.

“I wish Holly and Tracey the best for the future and with the awards competition.”

After suffering from severe headaches and vomiting Holly was taken to A&E at York Hospital and within 20 minutes she lost consciousness and had to be put in an induced coma.

Mrs Hegarty, a lettings manager at Bridgford’s estate agents in Micklegate, said Holly was taken out of intensive care after 48 hours and placed on the hospital’s high-dependency unit. She spent six days in hospital in total.

Today Holly has some nerve damage and some concentration problems, but her doctors hope she will make a full recovery. Just over a fortnight after her ordeal, Holly sat her exams at college.

All nominees for Community Pride must live in, or contribute to life in, the City of York Council area. The finalists will be invited to a prestigious awards ceremony in October.

You are free to nominate people for any category, but the judges may move nominations to different categories if it is thought they better reflect the work they have done.