Sheffield mum’s business idea during op recovery

Claire Bradwell has created chairs to help children with hip problems. She is pictured with John Healey MP, and her daughter Daisy Lilleker, two.  Picture: Liz Mockler S0240MC
Claire Bradwell has created chairs to help children with hip problems. She is pictured with John Healey MP, and her daughter Daisy Lilleker, two. Picture: Liz Mockler S0240MC
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An inspirational Sheffield mum who was left fighting for her life after a hysterectomy came up with a profitable business idea while recuperating - and is now in the running for a top national honour.

Claire Bradwell, from Wadsley Bridge, ended up in intensive care for more than two weeks with internal bleeding after she was admitted to hospital for a hysterectomy in 2011.

The young mum was told at the age of 17 she would not be able to have children, but overcome that hurdle by giving birth to twins David and Michael, now aged seven.

She had also overcome cervical cancer, which she was diagnosed with in January 2008.

But when her third child Daisy, now four, arrived, she hit a low because her little girl was born with a hip condition which required an operation and a special cast - called a hip spica cast - to immobilise it as it healed.

Worn down by the emotional stress, Claire hit a low point and was admitted to hospital for the hysterectomy.

But she battled back to health and, while recuperating, Claire, now aged 29, came up with a special chair designed to give comfort and security to children in a hip spica cast.

The Hip-Rocker is a specially designed rocking chair with a table which allows tots with hip dysplasia to sit up so they can be fed and entertained while in their cast.

Claire and her dad made a prototype and she joined Enterprise, a programme from The Prince’s Trust which helps young people start up in business and wrote a business plan.

And now The Hip-Rocker, which is also suitable for children with cerebral palsy, is sold all over the world.

Claire said: “It’s difficult to put into words. In the space of six months I went from not knowing if I was going to live or die and leave three young children, to running my own business and helping other parents with my products. It’s amazing.”

Now she is one of three people in the UK to have been chosen as a finalist for a gong at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.

The Oscar-style ceremony – due to be hosted by TV duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly in London on Wednesday, March 12, and attended by Prince Charles – recognises the achievements of young people supported by the trust who have succeeded against the odds.

Among the celebrity guests are set to be trust ambassadors Phillip Schofield, Pixie Lott and Gary Lineker.

Claire is up for the RBS Enterprise Award, which recognises those young people who have overcome serious difficulties to achieve success in creating a sustainable business or social enterprise.

And she has trained to become a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador so she can inspire other young people to change their lives.

Les Matheson, of RBS, said: “The stories of the young finalists are inspirational and I would like to personally congratulate Claire for being shortlisted. 
“We are delighted to sponsor the Enterprise Award which recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business.

“I would like to wish Claire the best of luck.”