Cystic fibrosis sufferer Sarah Elsbury
A woman who set up her own riding school despite a serious health condition has had her courage recognised by winning a prestigious national award.
Sarah Elsbury, 26, has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a hereditary disease affecting the lungs and internal organs, which had led to her needing a heart and lung transplant.
Miss Elsbury from Carelton Rode, near Attleborough, has been a keen horse rider since she was four and six years ago she established the Kings Acre Riding School.
The company, which is also based in Carleton Rode, has been very successful and won awards including Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004 for Norfolk and awards from the Princes Trust and NatWest Bank.
The latest award was from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and is called the Adult Fighting Spirit, which recognised her determination to live life to the full.
Before her transplant Miss Elsbury couldn't walk even 100 yards without going blue in the face through lack of oxygen.
Miss Elsbury, who lives with her parents Ken and Sue in Carleton Rode, said: “I am very pleased to win the award and was totally surprised.
“When my mum nominated me I wasn't sure at first but I think winning can be inspiration for others. There are people out there with CF who might be waiting for a transplant.
“I am proof that it can change your life and you can do what you want to do if you put your mind to it.
“The stables are great, it is like a hobby to me. People often say they are unhappy with their job but to me I wake up every day and get to spend time with my horses and also some lovely customers.
“I really enjoy what I do.”
On New Years Day, 1997 she received a heart and lung transplant. In 2007 she suffered rejection but eventually pulled through.
Miss Elsbury also suffered kidney failure and in July 2007 spent time in and out of hospital and she also contracted septicaemia while in intensive care.
Doctors believe she may need a kidney transplant in the near future but despite all this she has remained positive and determined to achieve her goals.
The awards recognise exceptional achievements by people with the disease, the most common life-threatening inherited illness in the country.
The winners were announced at the Hilton Metropole hotel in London at an event hosted by TV personality and Cystic Fibrosis Trust patron Dr David Bull.
She was presented with her award by ex Blue Peter presenter and Dancing on Ice star Zoe Salmon at the red carpet event.
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