Doting nephew Lewis Buntain has been described as “one in a million” by his double amputee aunt as he helps her out and acts as her “extra pair of legs”.
The eight-year-old volunteers to look after Lizzy Georgeson, 24, – doing housework, staying with her when her soldier husband is away and generally keeping her company.
Lewis is such a star that he’s now been nominated for the Young Carer of the Year award at the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards.
Lizzy, from Leeds, West Yorks., was born with a condition called bilateral club foot, which means both her feet were back to front.
She has suffered a lifetime of chronic pain and endured 36 operations – the first when she was just 10 weeks old.
Her bond with Lewis began when he was just six months old. Lizzy was around 15-years-old and her mum cared for Lewis while her sister and her husband worked full time.
Lizzy said: “We’ve always been very close, I was almost like his second mum. He would prefer me to do certain things and I was always there when he was growing up.”
But their relationship went from strength to strength when Lizzy had both her legs amputated – the first amputation taking place the day after her wedding to husband, Royal Engineer Lewis, 22, in August 2014 and the second one a year ago.
The Open University student, from Leeds, West Yorks., said: “We’ve always had a close bond but since the amputations he’s taken it upon himself to be my protector.
“My husband regularly works away, so when he knows his Uncle Lewis is deploying he will plan to stay here a couple of days a week to help out.”
He can even stay over on a school night because his grandma, who still looks after Lewis while his parents work, takes him to and from school.
Lewis walks the family dog, helps her look after her prosthetic legs, even helps her in the bath and carries things up and down the stairs for her – something Lizzy struggles with because she has to hold on.
Lizzy said: “He is mature enough to help me around the house and deal with my disability, he doesn’t even realise the enormity of what he does. He’s my extra pair of legs.
“He knows what to do in case I fall, he has all our numbers on his iPad and my mum only lives a few doors down, but he’s also great company, and strikes a good conversation.”
On a night the two best mates will go upstairs early so she can remove her legs for the evening.
She said: “We will put a film on and have a chat and if I happen to have left something downstairs he can run downstairs and get it in two minutes, something which would be quite hard work for me to get my legs back on and go downstairs to do.
“I nominated Lewis for the award to show I’m grateful for all he does for me. He is a little superstar.
“Some children have to care for a parent or brother and sister because they live with them, but Lewis volunteers to look after me. He does it all because he loves me unconditionally.
“It’s in his nature to be so mature and caring. He is wonderful. The bond what Lewis and I share is so special.”
Lewis is delighted to be short-listed and says that he doesn’t mind if he doesn’t win because he is looking forward to the night.
He has already got his outfit, a posh suit with a waistcoat and tie.
The Fifth Yorkshire Children of Courage awards takes place at New Dock Hall on October 10.
The aim is to raise money to help youngsters while acknowledging those in the region who have shown courage in dealing with difficult circumstances.
And although Lewis does a lot of caring they also make sure to have a lot of fun together and often go off for family days out. He also loves films and reading, he does karate and plays the violin and loves football.
But most of all he loves his Aunt Lizzy.
The awards are being held in Leeds in October.