A NORTH-EAST businessman who nursed his wife through her illness has won a national award.

Martin Healey, from Darlington, was one of three people shortlisted for the MS (multiple sclerosis) Society’s carer of the year award.

He cared for his wife Mandy for more than 20 years after her diagnosis up until her death in 2011.

He pushed doctors to give her a proper diagnosis and tirelessly researched to ensure Mandy had the latest wheelchairs, house modifications and the best daytime carers.

He subsequently developed a business, Martin Healey Vehicle Adaptations, selling specially adapted vehicles and adapting cars that people already own, enabling those with MS to continue to drive and have their freedom.

Mr Healey was almost lost for words on winning the award, describing it as ‘a complete surprise’.

Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward, who presented Mr Healey with the award and who herself has MS, said: “These awards are so important; they provide motivation for everyone with MS, whether you are newly diagnosed or struggling with the condition. It’s an amazing event.

“Even being nominated is a gold medal in itself.”

For more information about the MS Society visit mssociety.org.uk