A desperate fund-raising bid has been launched to help a mum who suffered life-changing injuries in a shocking freak accident at a trampoline park.
Sarah Edwards, from Golborne, was left paralysed and facing life in a wheelchair after breaking her neck at a leisure facility in St Helens.
She has since made astonishing progress in recovering from the horror moment, putting all her strength into her physio and rehabilitation sessions at a Southport specialist unit.
However, her Whitlow Avenue home will now require a total makeover to enable her to return to live with her partner and young son.
Relatives fear the bill to install a huge extension, a lift big enough to take a wheelchair and alter the steep drive could come to £50,000.
Undaunted they are planning a series of fund-raising events over the coming months and have been overwhelmed by the response from the community, with more than 200 people raising thousands by attending an afternoon tea in Lowton.
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.
“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 at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-edwards102