PRINCE Charles asked ‘How’s Bolton doing?’ as he handed out gongs to two of the town’s medics.

Matron Suzanne Lomax said she would continue campaigning for stroke awareness after receiving an MBE for her services to healthcare.

She was given the prestigious medal at Buckingham Palace yesterday along with 80 others who featured on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

The mother-of-two formed Supporting Hands in 1992 — a charity which supports survivors of strokes and their families — with her colleague Sharron Dempsey.

The charity has since been renamed as JIGSAW (Joint Initiative Group for Stroke Awareness and Wellbeing).

Mrs Lomax, who lives in Little Lever, was joined with her husband Tony and their two children for the ceremony after being given free first class tickets by Virgin Trains.

She said: “Prince Charles was really lovely and polite and even asked how Bolton was doing. We also talked about how we can prevent strokes as it is becoming more and more of a problem.

“It happened very fast but I have enjoyed every second. Having my family with me made it all the more special — especially after the first class train ride.

“I feel completely honoured to be recognised for the work I have done and I will continue to help the cause all I can.”

Mrs Lomax was staying in London until tomorrow and was planning to celebrate with afternoon Champagne tea at Claridge’s.

Also receiving an MBE for services to clinical surgery and medical education was Iain Anderson, a consultant surgeon at Salford Royal Hospital.

The father-of-three, who lives in Bolton, said: “It is a great honour to receive this recognition.

“It has been a privilege over the past 30 years to provide services to the people of Salford, the North West and much further afield.”