St Albans dad scoops national title in recognition of support for daughter

A ST Albans father has beaten off competition from around the UK to win the coveted title of Bounty Real Dad of the Year 2010.

Martin Brooks was nominated by his wife Sarah Phelan, for his excellent parenting of Mia, a pupil at Killigrew Infant School.

Sarah explained why she nominated Martin: “Martin is a loving Dad to our daughter, Mia who has severe cerebral palsy and needs 24 hour care. Martin is 100% committed to her and is always thinking of ways to make her happy and enjoy life. He’ll stay up all night when she is unwell and will do anything to make her laugh.”

As featured in the Herts Advertiser in May Martin, from Watford Road, Chiswell Green, came up with an inventive way to communicate with Mia.

He explained: “Mia was starved of oxygen at birth and is severely affected physically though her brain function is good. Her one method of telling us what she wants is to point with her eyes.”

He designed an app for the iPhone called iComm, which allows Mia to point out pictures of food, toys, activities and other day-to-day themes on the iPhone using her eyes.

It has been launched on Apple’s app store and has been downloaded by more than 4000 people, helping lots of other children too. This innovative idea impressed the members.

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Martin said this week: “I am absolutely thrilled and touched to win the title – it was a complete surprise as I had no idea that Sarah had even nominated me! Becoming a father is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I treasure every minute we spend as a family. Mia continues to inspire me every day and with number two on the way I am extremely excited about becoming a father again.”

Faye Mingo, spokeswoman for commented: “We were overwhelmed with the response we had to the competition and congratulate Martin on receiving the most votes from our members. He is certainly a very worthy winner and a Dad that will always go the extra mile for his family, taking inspiration from his role as a father. We wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

As well as being awarded the title of Bounty Real Dad of the Year 2010, Martin and his family have won a two-day trip to Alton Towers.