A woman who was told she could never have children wept tears of joy when she was presented with a glittering prize after being crowned Leader Mum of the Year 2016.
Heather Mather, 58, from Mold, won the title after the judges were inspired by the way she overcame a lifelong disability to care for her family.
She was presented with her prize at the Mococo fashion store at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham who teamed up with the Leader to organise the competition.
Heather was thrilled with the silver and rose gold Eternal Love heart locket from Clogau Gold which is set with three sparkling diamond and contains rare Welsh gold – and enclosed within the locket is a beautiful solid silver heart also set with a diamond.
As well as the locket, she also won a meal for two at Pizza Express at Eagles Meadow, including a starter or sweet.
Heather was born with spina bifida but she defied the odds to give birth to her daughter, Kerry, who nominated her because of the love she has shown and the fact she never let her own health problems get in the way of her devotion to her family.
She said: “I still can’t believe it. So many people have congratulated me after seeing the report in the Leader it’s been amazing. People have told me they didn’t realise what I have been through. However, you have to look after your family and live life the best you can.
“I’m so pleased and proud Heather put my name forward.
“When I opened the presentation box and saw the locket it took my breath away. It’s absolutely stunning, absolutely beautiful.
“I did shed a tear or two but I have been doing that ever since I found Kerry nominated me to be honest. I’m just overwhelmed by it all and all the good wishes.
“I don’t think I’ll ever take it off to be honest. I think I’ll wear it constantly. I’m just so grateful to Kelly, the Leader and Mococo here at Eagles Meadow.”
Mococo spokeswoman Andrea Harley was delighted to welcome Heather to the store to collect her prize.
She said: “It’s wonderful and Heather is such a deserving winner and a lovely person. I’m thrilled she was so pleased with the necklace which is absolutely beautiful. It looks perfect on her.”
Store assistant Alana Williams presented the locket to Heather Mather and said: “It’s been lovely to be able to hand the locket to her. She was really taken aback by it when she opened the presentation box.
“It’s a fabulous locket and, after hearing her story, I have to say Heather really deserves the award and title Leader Mother of the Year.”
Daughter Kerry said in her nomination: “My Mum is one in a million. She was born with spina bifida and it has never slowed her down or stopped her in her tracks, to the point where I shouldn’t be writing this as doctors told her she’d never have children.
“My Mum has been my rock and I generally don’t know what me and my Dad, who is also disabled, would do without her.”
The runner-up in the competition was another magical mum, 49-year-old Tracey Gee, from Gwersyllt.
She won a family ticket for two adults and two children to watch a film at the Odeon cinema and enjoy a Family Feast for up to four people at the Frankie and Benny’s restaurant.
Maureen Hooson, who founded Mococo with her husband, Lee, said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to find such worthy winners.
“The competition is a lovely way to pay tribute to somebody who has had a great impact on your life, a person whose love and care knows no boundaries.
“I know they had a difficult job but the judges have chosen a fantastic winner and runner-up and I send them both my warmest congratulations.”
Kevin Critchley, the Manager of the Eagles Meadow, said “I’m really pleased Heather is so delighted with her locket. She is clearly a very strong mum and the bedrock on which her family is built. I have no doubt that the judges got it right in naming Heather the 2016 winner.”