Weʼre raising £15,000 to help pay for medical assistance, accessibility support and rehabilitation for Paula.
- Darlington, UK
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As many already know, On Mother’s Day this year, my step mam, Paula, had a very serious, devastating and life changing accident. After falling over a bannister and down some stairs and suffering from a broken neck her surgeon described as the ‘worst spinal injury he has ever seen’ she has been left paralysed. This has been very scary, very hard, and very draining for my family, especially for Paula, and despite this she remains the same caring, loving and amazingly funny person she has always been. The last time I wrote something about this publicly, the doctors didn’t know if Paula would survive her fall, and she has. They didn’t know how likely breathing alone again would be, and last week a nurse told her she is coming off the oxygen machines faster than any patient ever has. The day after she was told she would never move any limbs again, she was able to slightly move the bottom part of her left arm. She is already doing better than the doctors first anticipated and her determination to prove them wrong gives us all reason to believe in a miracle. She is handling the hardest, most unbearable situation, that can only be described as the opposite of winning the lottery, with more strength, positivity and love for those around her than I even knew existed. She has spent more time worrying about how this will affect her family, than how it is going to affect her which just shows the kind of truly amazing person she is. She doesn’t deserve the bad luck she has been given, but unfortunately she has been given it just the same.
Injuries like these, and the aftermath of these injuries are something we don’t really think about until it happens to you, or to someone you know. It affects you, not only physically, but also emotionally and even more so financially.
Paula has always been the first to dance, to sing and to make everyone laugh by acting daft; she’s so full of life and so crazy in the most wonderful way and although, even from her hospital bed she continues to make us all laugh, the ability to dance and to be crazily stupid has been taken away from her. She’s the one who cleans the house, and washes the clothes. She’s the one who hosts our family parties and brings us all together. Little things to most of us, like having the ability to cook for your family or clean your family home is something we all take for granted, and often moan about; being able to use your own fork to feed yourself when you’re hungry, a thing we do everyday without thinking twice about it. Paula is, and always has been an amazing wife and an amazing daughter. She an amazing sister, auntie, niece and cousin to the family she adores, and who adore her. Most importantly to me, and to her, she’s an amazing mother. She’s a brilliant step mam to me and my brother, and an even better mam to my little sister, Leah. She really loves her kids and when you love your kids as much as Paula does, knowing that you might never be able to hug your little girl properly again, or feel the warmth of one of those hugs is the most emotionally destroying feeling in the world. It goes without saying, that I have only touched upon the physical restrictions Paula now faces, the list is endless and the changes to her life are massive.
Paula worked full time and was studying part time towards a teaching degree at university and as a result of her accident, her income will be lost. My dad is a self employed tiler, who pays his taxes like the rest of us and has done his entire life. In order for him to be there for his wife, and to look after his daughter during this extremely tough time, he has had to take some unpaid time off work, another lost income and a future of extreme uncertainty with regards to that income. The house my dad, Paula and Leah live in is small, too small to be adjusted, so in order for Paula to come home an extension will have to be built, or the family home, which holds so many precious memories will have to be sold, and a bigger house will have to be bought. Cars will have to be replaced and 24 hour care will have to be available for Paula. This isn’t something you save for; you save for family holidays, for new cars and for things you can enjoy, you don’t save money just in case you experience a life changing accident that is going to affect you financially for the rest of your life. That’s what life insurance is for, but unfortunately for Paula, her life insurance won’t cover any critical injuries. I can’t put a ballpark figure on the financial cost that this is going to cause because the truth is I don’t know, but what I do know, is Paula can only be described as a genuinely lovely person, who deserves the best; the best medical facilities, the best wheelchair, the best home with the best accessibility, the best care and the best chance of proving the medical professionals wrong. The doctors are wrong, because they have to be and I want to send her to the best rehabilitation centres so she can prove that. She deserves the best life and we can’t give her that without money; which is the reason I’m writing this post, not only to raise awareness but also to raise as much money as possible, to help a person who has always helped everybody else, and any donations, no matter how small will be deeply appreciated.
Over the next few months my family, and probably a lot of Paula’s friends will be doing a lot to raise money for her, and for charities that will help her in the future. So please keep your eyes peeled and get involved whenever you can. Any fundraising ideas are welcome. We will be holding a fundraising day at Avalon in Darlington on Sunday 19th August, bands will be playing, there will be raffles and much more, so I ask that all family, friends, acquaintances and anyone reading this keep that day free, buy tickets and attend. Also if anybody has anything they would like to donate for a raffle, or know of any businesses that would get involved to contact me via facebook or email email@example.com.
There are no words I can write beautiful enough to describe Paula, and the kind of person she is. These words cannot express the truly difficult road she is about to face, but I know she will face it with more grace and strength than any woman ever could, and continue to be the same amazing person I have described in this passage. With a little bit of help there is a light at the end of any tunnel.
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Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018
On behalf of Simon Ellington
Aug 22, 2018
Lots of luck and best wishes. X
Aug 2, 2018
I’m a Student Nurse on the spinal injuries & had the pleasure of meeting Paula and her lovely family. Paula is one of the most strongest, most beautiful people I have ever met. Love always, Hollie xxx
Ad and Rachel
Jul 6, 2018
All the best Paula and Mark. Thinking of you all.
Jun 27, 2018
I met Paula whilst working as a student Occupational Therapist on the Spinal Injuries Unit. Paula is a beautiful lady both inside and out. Sending lots of love to Paula and her family x
Jun 25, 2018
On behalf of John and Lynn much love xx
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