Fund-raising begins for Wigan teenager paralysed in freak accident playing with his puppy
A Wigan family has launched a desperate fund-raising appeal to bring home a teenager paralysed in a horrendous and freak accident.
Harvey Leyland, 17, was playing with his puppy on the couch at his home in Whelley when he fell and banged his head.
However, when he went upstairs for a lie-down afterwards he suffered what his horrified family described as a massive seizure on his bed and was rushed first to Wigan Infirmary and then to Salford Royal.
He was left paralysed from the neck down after having two strokes on his brain and a larger one on his spinal cord.
He is currently in the specialist spinal unit at Southport but is coming to terms with the devastating fact he is likely to face the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
His family, already reeling from such a life-changing outcome from a seemingly-innocuous incident, are now facing the problem that their home on Baclaw Close, off Platt Lane, is not suitable for someone with Harvey’s disabilities and if they cannot adapt the house he may have to go into a care home despite only being a teenager.
They have now set up a fund-raising page to try to find the £50,000 required for the massive modifications and are also planning events to bring in cash.
However, they are also struggling to process what has happened to the keen horseman, who has his own animal and competed in shows as a youngster.
Mum Angela Leyland said: “Harvey is very down and I’m exhausted with it. It’s just awful.
“Last week I went to visit him and I just broke down, I couldn’t help it.
“The consultant had told us he may not get the use of his upper body back and may have to use a wheelchair he operates with his chin.
“It broke his heart when they said he might not be able to come home and live with his family. I said he is coming home.
“I don’t even know how much it’s going to cost. We’ve done the fund-raiser for £50,000 but that’s just a ballpark figure. We’re clutching at straws.
“Harvey’s a big strapping lad and he loves horses. He used to ride and he and his brother competed in some of the biggest shows in the country.”
Emily Jones, the partner of Harvey’s brother Bradley, said: “It has just been devastating. He’s also a big car fanatic and loved tinkering with cars with his brother.
“We’re trying to keep him in good spirits and stay positive.
“It’s just not right he might end up in a care home at 17. He wants to be with his family.”
Harvey spent more than two months in Salford Royal before being transferred to the regional centre which deals with spinal injuries and rehabilitation at Southport.
He has now had his tracheostomy tube removed which means he is able to breathe on his own and also eat and drink.
However, a huge amount of work will have to be done on the family home before he is able to return there, with the current plan being to adapt the garage and also build a large extension to create a living space which is suitable for Harvey and his wheelchair.
The family is hoping for support from Wigan Council to carry out the work as well.
A raft of fund-raising ideas are also being discussed, several of them involving the family’s enthusiasm for equestrian.
St John Rigby College, where Harvey had been due to start his second year of studies in September, has also been in touch to discuss proposals to swell the total.
The Leyland family is well known in the Whelley area and is also no stranger to fund-raising, creating spectacular festive displays of lights at the home to raise money for a variety of charities.
To find out more or to donate to the fund-raiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/bring-harvey-home-adaptations-fund