WATCH: Carer gives shout out to "bestie" Sam as she picks up Highland Heroes award in recognition of her work
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A woman who works tirelessly to bring joy and comfort to an eight-year-old boy who has a rare neurological condition has been named carer of the year at the annual Highland Heroes bash.
Louise Borland, who is also a UHI Inverness nursing student, has made a huge difference to the life of not only her young charge Sam Cooper Douglas but also his family.
For almost two years Louise has been caring for the young boy who has suffered from microcephaly from birth.
It is a condition where there is a problem with brain development in the womb or when the brain stops growing after they are born.
Louise provides much needed respite for his parents but has also become Sam’s ‘bestie’ in the process.
She helps Sam get ready for school, has provided overnight care and takes him out for day trips and adventures throughout the week and during the holidays.
Picking up her award at the event at the Drumossie Hotel, Louise said: "It's the best job in the world.
"You could probably say I think of him as my little bestie.
"So yeah - this is for Sam."
Louise's nominees were Sam's family.
They said: "Louise has enriched our son Sam's life in incredible ways since becoming his carer. Every shift she has with him is full of fun and nonsense.
"His eyes light up when she arrives at our house to take him on their next adventure.
"She has become a hugely important part of Sam's life and is so emotionally invested in him and cares about him so much.
"We know this is more than a job to her and the way she looks after him which means we can fully relax when he is in her care.
"This is a rare feeling for us. She is full of enthusiasm, kindness and fun and will always make things accessible for Sam, there are no limits.
"Nothing is too much trouble or effort and Sam feeds off her incredible energy.
"We would be lost without her as not only is Sam her ‘wee bestie’ but she has become an invaluable part of our family's life. We struck gold the day Louise came to work with Sam."