Family overwhelmed as appeal reaches £20,000

Mark Middlehurst
Mark Middlehurst

MORE than £20,000 has been raised in just over a week to help the family of a Wigan man who remains in a critical condition in an Australian hospital.

Mark Middlehurst’s family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since the 28-year-old was left in a critical condition after a motorbike crash in Perth two weeks ago.

Mark’s dad Malcolm, Julie and brother David flew straight out to be at his bedside while his friends back home launched a fundraising appeal to help cover their costs.

Family friend Paul Darbyshire said: “On Tuesday Mark opened his eyes a couple of times for the first time.

“There were a few positive signs but then Wednesday was a normal day with no real change.

“He then had a bad night, his temperature was quite high so they took him for a CT scan but when he came back Mark opened his eyes and was really focusing on his brother David while he was talking to him.

“Thursday was a good day with three or four signs, he was moving his arms a bit and his legs and squeezing the hands of Malc, Julie and David.

“But in terms of his condition, nothing has really changed. There are positive signs and his family are trying to be positive but we just don’t know what will happen.

“It is a waiting game at the moment.”

Mark’s friend Steven Coyne organised a pub crawl which was held around Billinge on Saturday and several more fundraisers have been organised in the week’s to come.

A motorbike meeting is being held at Squires Bar on Main Street on November 29 from 3pm until 7pm and feature quiz, auction and a raffle.

A Shindig for Mig is also being held on December 4 at 7pm at St James Club in Orrell and a Sportsmans Dinner will be held at Chapel Labour Club in Billinge on December 5.

A five-a-side football tournament has been arranged at Billinge Soccer Centre on December 27 with 16 teams taking part.

Paul said: “It is absolutely extra-ordinary. Malc and Julie are really overwhelmed with it all and are so thankful for all the good wishes and kind donations. It has been absolutely amazing.

“The weather was terrible on Saturday for the bar crawl but it was still packed.

“The whole things has been really surreal.”

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Any money not used to help Mark and his family will be donated to charity.