Appeal to help family transform home after devastating accident

The family of a Wigan woman who was paralysed in a horror accident at a trampoline park has launched a massive fund-raising bid to transform her home.

Thursday, 16th November 2017, 10:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:55 pm
From left, parents David and Ellen Edwards, sister Nichola Gregory, Sarahs partner Garry Banner and their son Joseph, eight, front centre

Sarah Edwards’s world was turned upside down when the Golborne mum broke her neck in a freak incident in April.

She was airlifted from the St Helens trampoline facility to the Walton Centre in Liverpool and is now undergoing a long rehabilitation process at a specialist unit in Southport.

As the 37-year-old is now paralysed from the chest down and faces the rest of her life in a wheelchair, her relatives are coming to terms with the daunting task of getting enough money together for a massive transformation of her Whitlow Avenue house to make it disability-friendly.

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Tragic accident - Sarah Edwards

The bill for the work could potentially come to £50,000 but the Golborne community is already rallying round, with a huge response to her relatives’ first events.

Sarah’s sister Nichola Gregory, 33, said: “It’s been devastating but we’ve all got to be strong for her. There’s always someone with her at the hospital every day.

“We’re trying to take her mind off things and we try to get her out when we can.

“She’s quite a headstrong person so I think that’s a good thing for her.

Tragic accident - Sarah Edwards

“We’re now just looking to raise as much money as possible. If we could get £50,000 that would be brilliant but obviously it takes time to do that.”

Sarah’s life changed forever when she visited the trampoline park during the school holidays with her eight-year-old son Joseph.

She fell forward and hit her head on some padded edging material, instantly becoming paralysed because of the damage to two vertebrae in her neck.

Doctors in Liverpool rushed her to theatre to put metal work in her neck to stabilise the injury, with the emergency procedure followed by a spell in intensive care.

She was then transferred to Southport Hospital where she has been getting back movement in her arms and generally recovering in the spinal department.

Nichola says her sister remains upbeat despite the shocking incident and has amazed and delighted her family with her progress.

She said: “She’s actually doing really well. The fact she’s got a little boy is spurring her on a lot.

“When there are certain things she can’t do, like being with her son as she usually would be during the school holidays, that’s hard, but day-to-day she’s determined to do her physio and get as much movement back as she can.

“She’s putting her all into it. She can now feed herself but hasn’t got much movement in her wrists, hands and fingers at the moment. We’re obviously hoping that will come with time.”

Sarah’s positive attitude to recovery is also helping Joseph and her partner Garry Banner through the difficult times as they adjust to the massive changes in their lives.

For her sister Nichola, her parents and other family members focus is also on trying to raise money for the alterations needed at home.

They are hoping to raise enough for a double-storey extension at the side of the property which will enable her to have a wet room and a bedroom and also a lift so she can get upstairs to play with Joseph in his room.

Major changes also need to be made at the front as the house sits at the top of a sharp, steep incline.

The first fund-raising event was an afternoon tea and Nichola says they were blown away by the level of support.

She said: “We held it at Lowton Social Club and there were 210 people there. It was quite a challenge because initially there were only going to be 60 or 70 there and it just spiralled.

“We raised nearly £6,000 on that day. Family and friends supported us and Sarah has a lot of friends from various places who came along.

“We’ve put things on hold at the moment because people will be busy until Christmas.”

Future fund-raising events in the pipeline include a quiz night to be held in the new year.

Golborne Asda, where several members of the family including Sarah and Nichola have worked in the past, has also got involved with their former colleagues doing events including a bake sale and a running challenge.

To find out more, search for The Sarah Edwards fundraising page on Facebook.

Donations can be made here