Royal reward for battling Claire

Claire Bradwell and her family Daniel, daughter Daisy and twins David & Michael
Claire Bradwell and her family Daniel, daughter Daisy and twins David & Michael

It wasn’t only Claire Bradwell who was enthusiastic about receiving a business award from Prince Charles at a ceremony in London.

Four-year old daughter Daisy also jumped on stage as mum was honoured by the Prince’s Trust as one of the top young businesswomen in the country.

Then again, Daisy had helped to inspire Claire’s career as she turned her life around after being diagnosed with cancer and then ending up in intensive care following a hysterectomy.

Claire designed a specialist chair to help children with hip problems - children like Daisy. It is now being sold in places such as Australia, Norway, Sweden and Ireland, and has proved so successful that she was named a runner-up in the Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise Award.

“In the space of two years I had gone from not knowing whether I would live or die to being able to say I am an international businesswoman, recognised as one of the top three in the UK,” said Claire, aged 29, also mother of seven-year-old twins.

The award ended many years of emotional turmoil.

Claire, who lives in Wadsley, was devastated when, aged 17, she was told she couldn’t have children. Five years later she gave birth to David and Michael, but was also diagnosed with cancer.

The next year, she had Daisy, who was born with hip dysplasia, an abnormal hip formation requiring an operation and a hip spica cast to immobilise the hip as it heals. Then came the hysterectomy and intensive care for over two weeks with internal bleeding.

It was during her recuperation, that Claire was inspired to design a chair for children in a hip spica cast. Helped by her father, Stephen Bradwell, a joiner, she created a prototype the Hip-Rocker, a rocking chair with table that allows children to sit upright to be fed and entertained while in a cast.

The Prince’s Trust helped her to get the project off the ground, and the chair can now be used by children with other conditions, such as cerebral palsy. All the materials come from Yorkshire, 90% from South Yorkshire.

Being presented with the award by Prince Charles was “huge”, said Claire, and Daisy obviously agreed. “She was determined she was going on stage and ran for it, with mother having to catch up!”