Elle Macpherson backs campaign

Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson

SUPERMODEL Elle Macpherson has backed an appeal to get a St Helens man home from Australia after a horror crash.

The world-famous style icon, businesswoman and actress retweeted a link to a fund-raising page set up by Mark Middlehurst’s family in a bid to raise the £50,000 needed to fly him home from Perth.

Mark Middlehurst

Mark Middlehurst

Parents Julie and Malcolm have been by the 28-year-old’s bedside at a Perth hospital since he was involved in a quad bike accident that left him brain damaged.

Friends and family had helped raise £25,000 by Christmas but last week they issued a desperate appeal to raise the extra £25,000 needed to fly Mark home to Billinge.

They hope he will be given the all-clear to fly in the next two months or so, giving them just weeks to raise the extra cash.

So far, since the appeal was launched last Thursday, more than £8,600 has been raised.

We believe his recovery from that will be around four to six weeks and then he will be ok to come home – if we have enough money that is

Paul Derbyshire

Family friend Paul Darbyshire, who has been running the fundraising campaign for the Middlehurst’s with his wife Sue, said the response had been crazy.

He said: “We have raised nearly £10,000 in less than a week which has been overwhelming.

“There was $500 on that page on Thursday and now it is up to $17,800. Liverpool Football Club’s legends team are out there at the moment and they have got involved and I believe Elle Macpherson tweeted the link.

“Mark is due to have an operation on Friday to reattach the part of his skull which was removed after the accident to relieve the pressure on his brain.

“We believe his recovery from that will be around four to six weeks and then he will be ok to come home – if we have enough money that is.”

Last week, Mark’s mum Julie, 58, said that what had happened to Mark, who although now awake does not respond to what is going on around him, was “heartbreaking”.

She said: “It is heartbreaking. He is such an active, energetic and happy-go-lucky young man.

“We spend every day from about 10 in the morning to eight at night with Mark, we’ve never missed a day.

“We play him music and tell him stories in the hope he will remember.

“His friends from the farm have been to visit and we have some other friends who are from home but live out here that come and talk to him a few times a week.

“We try to stay positive. Getting him home would be great because all his friends and family would be round him rather than just me and his dad and few people. They might get a response from him.”

Mark should be able to fly home on a normal flight but will need a full medical team to fly with him.

His family hope by getting him home and surrounding him with familiar faces will help his recovery.

Several fundraising events have been arranged including a Ladies Night at Billinge Chapel End Labour Club on February 12 at 8pm and a children’s party on February 14 at 2pm at Billinge Soccer Centre.

To donate or to find out more, call Paul on 07790 654608 or visit gofundme.com/mark-middlehurst.