Since September last year when a tragic motorbike crash left a Copthorne man paralysed from the chest down the community of RH10 has rallied to raise more than £20,000 to pay for adaptions to the family home, the family now want to say thanks for the help and support they have been given.
On Monday, September 26 2016 Carl Martin suffered life-changing injuries and his family’s world was turned upside down. Carl, who is a former motorbike racer and regular track day participant, was left with a punctured lung, broken ribs, fractured neck and a crushed spinal cord leaving the father paralysed from the chest down.
Carl underwent rigorous surgery to prevent further paralysis, spending four weeks in St George’s Hospital, London before being transferred to Stanmore Spinal Rehabilitation Centre. It was whilst at Stanmore that the family marked their three-year-old daughter Jessica’s birthday as well as Carl’s birthday and Christmas and New Year.
In January, Carl was discharged from Stanmore but was unable to return to the family home with his daughter Jessica and his wife Zoe because the home is not suitable for wheelchairs. He is currently resident at Crawley Hospital where he is receiving treatment and support for the horrendous injuries he received that fateful day last year.
It has been more than six months since the family were pulled apart, however, on learning of the family’s situation, friends, family and the wider community have given time and money to help unite the family once again. Family friend Sarah Kiely set-up a JustGiving page which received more than 400 donations totalling £20,110.
Fundraising events for the family have included cake sales, fun runs, sponsored walks and a quiz night and now one of Zoe’s friend’s, Sandra is taking part in a 60km walk this month. Sandra and her husband David have already organised several fundraising events including one in February which raised more than £1,600 alone.
The family home is now a third of the way with adaptations which have seen the downstairs area demolished, making it open-plan and complete with a wet room and a wheelchair lift. Once complete the family plan to move back and be reunited once again. They will continue fundraising to pay for specialist equipment.
As we move into summer and from the indoors to the outdoors, the family are now looking for landscape gardeners who might be able to help provide better access for Carl in the garden so he can spend the summer months with Jessica and alterations to the driveway to make parking and wheelchair access easier.
Zoe said: “Carl and I want to thank everyone for their kind donations and messages of support. Everyone involved has kept us so positive believing we can look forward to a bright future of having our family back together again. It has been incredibly uplifting to read all the kind words and to see those who have offered their time to lend us their skills has been overwhelming.”
To donate to Sandra’s fundraising walk, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sandraduke
By Jacob White