Fundraising goes to great heights for Southside mum

A fund-raising effort by a South Tyneside daughter to make her Glasgow mum’s life more bearable following a life changing rare spinal stroke is just over half way to its target as kind hearted walkers on both sides of the border take on a mountainous challenge.

Agnes McElhinney, 64, from the Southside unexpectantly suffered a spinal stroke almost a year ago which left her severely disabled.

Thanks to her incredible mental strength and the care of her rehabilitation staff, she has managed to regain some movement after originally being paralysed from the neck down but doctors have told her that sadly she’ll never walk again and will need a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Hospital rehabilitation professionals have done all they can now and major adaptations must be made to her new bungalow to ensure that she can go home and start a new chapter of her life with as much comfort and independence as possible.

Agnes’s family and friends have held a number of fundraising events to help meet the cost of the adaptations. They have already raised a fantastic £8,500, more than half way to their target of £15,000. Agnes is ready to leave hospital now but unfortunately is unable to do so until the building work is completed.

Agnes’s daughter Laura Bolam from Boldon and her three brothers and sister have set themselves and their friends a tremendous challenge to climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain. They have literally roped in a team to help them reach the summit and ultimately their fund-raising target.

“Our family in Glasgow and our friends in the North East of England have teamed up to do the challenge. Every step that we take will bring our target closer and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped,” she said.” As well as donations of cash towards the work, we would ask any Glasgow based tradespeople if they could donate their time to help us as even small jobs can make a huge difference to my mother’s comfort and independence.”

Agnes’s condition was is a result of a very rare spinal stroke that affects only two percent of those people suffering a stroke.

“Strokes can hit anyone at any time and the devastation they cause is immense. My mum just wants to come home but is unable to do so until the work has been done. Climbing Ben Nevis will be tough but having to live with the aftermath of a stroke is tougher,” said Laura. “We’re very grateful for the help everyone is giving us both in Glasgow and in the North East in their efforts to get my mother home.”

The walk will take place at the end of August and anyone wishing to help can do so here: Ben Nevis climb for Agnus