MOTHER-OF-TWO Debbie Plowman has returned home for the first time since being paralysed in a freak accident during a poledancing exercise class 15 months ago.
Her husband, Chris, said she left a rehabilitation unit to visit their home in Haxby, near York, for several hours last weekend, using a specially designed wheelchair.
Speaking as he outlined a series of fresh fundraising events to help his wife, Chris said they even managed to go out to a nearby pub for a drink. “She said she wanted to go to the pub for a half of lager so we went down to the Cottage Inn, where half a dozen of her friends had gathered,” he said. “It was a very emotional day.”
He revealed he was also hoping Debbie could come home for good by the time of their daughter Ruby’s fourth birthday in September.
Chris said he was planning to buy and adapt a bungalow in the town to make it suitable for Debbie, who has already been transferred from a Sheffield hospital to the Lascelles neurological rehabilitation unit in Harrogate.
He said Debbie, who broke her neck, severely damaging her spinal cord, when she fell on her head in a York studio in December 2009, had been receiving huge numbers of visitors since moving to Harrogate, and this had boosted her morale. He said she communicated through eye movements.
Many thousands of pounds have already been raised for the Debbie Plowman Happy Faces Trust, which aims to buy vital equipment for his wife and a fresh fundraising drive is now being planned.
The trust also now has registered charity status and other beneficiaries are Spinal Research UK, the Lascelles unit and Osborne Spinal Unit at Sheffield Northern General.
A facebook page has also been launched at facebook.com/debbieplowmanhappyfacestrust to update people on Debbie’s progress, highlight fundraising events and enable well-wishers to send messages of support.
At least 25 family members, friends and well-wishers are planning to walk 25 miles across Yorkshire’s Three Peaks on Sunday May 22, following a similar walk last summer. Walkers will pay £20 to register and be expected to raise at least £50 each in sponsorship. Each walker will get a T-shirt specially created to promote the trust.
A golf day will also be staged in June at Sandburn Hall on Sunday June 19, with golfers paying £40 per person for a round and entry to a barbecue on the veranda, which would be followed by an auction and raffle of items such as sporting memorabilia.
A sportsman’s dinner will be held at York Racecourse on Saturday October 15, following a similar event last autumn.
The guest speakers this time will be rugby stars Barry McDermott and Jon Bentley, and there will be live music after a three course dinner. Tickets cost £50.
Anyone wanting to support any of the events should email firstname.lastname@example.org