PROUD grandmother Minerva Dobelstein bestowed her final honour on her granddaughter before she died when she dubbed her ‘Florence Nightingale’.
Home-schooled Talitha Huston, (12) of Gidgegannup, was on hand to help mother Janette for several years, particularly in the final seven months.
Mrs Huston said her late 78-year-old mother had a quadruple bypass last year and end-stage renal failure.
“During the six weeks at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Talitha would happily trek the two-hour return journey and sit there with mum nearly every day for many hours on end,” Mrs Huston said.
Carers WA recognised Talitha’s devoted care and named her a finalist in this year’s Young People Who Care awards.
“When mum went home, we would spend two days a week with her, shopping and hospital visits,” Mrs Huston said.
“Being home-schooled, Talitha was there with us, just taking her school work with us.”
Mrs Dobelstein was given three days to live after becoming seriously ill on Talitha’s 11th birthday last year.
Talitha moved to her grandmother’s house in Scarborough with her mother and aunt for the final six weeks to care for her grandmother around the clock.
Mrs Huston said Talitha chose not to return home because she preferred to stay at her grandmother’s side.
“Mum miraculously improved and moved up to Gidgegannup with us where she stayed for seven months until she died last August,” Mrs Huston said.
Talitha’s extraordinary level of care extended to helping with toileting and holding her grandmother in the shower when she could no longer support herself.
“There was never a complaint – in fact she couldn’t do enough for mum. Her social life decreased, and many things she used to do ceased to help take care of mum,” Mrs Huston said.
Talitha attended a presentation on Tuesday last week, where judges struggled to select the winners because of the huge number of nominations across all categories.
Mrs Huston said there were more than 40,000 young carers in WA.
The Young People Who Care Program rewards and supports the outstanding contributions of young, compassionate people aged eight to 18 who provide voluntary care to a relative or within the community.
For more, visit www.youngpeoplewhocare.com.au.