There’s still time to sign up to a fund-raising Chester charity ball that offers hope for people like Mathew Evans who is paralysed from the chest down after being involved in a serious collision as a pedestrian.
Mathew, 32, who must now use a wheelchair, isn’t letting what happened ruin his life but would love to walk again one day.
An agricultural contractor by trade, he recently chauffeured his bride Elinor to their wedding reception in the white tractor he had specially-adapted according to his own design.
Mathew, who has a four-year-old son Jac with Elinor, continues to receive treatment at an NHS spinal unit in Shropshire and lives in hope that medical advances may one day cure his paralysis.
The event will raise funds to be split between The Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen, where Mathew must attend for the rest of his life, and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), a charity that focuses on research into spinal injuries.
Lee, who runs events and artist management company Aardvarker, hopes to surpass the success of a ball she organised in 2015 which raised nearly £5,000 shared between the two good causes.
She said: “Mathew is not one prone for self-promotion but he was very touched by the dedication, compassion and expertise of the staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen, near Oswestry, where he spent four months convalescing. He also realised that hope was emerging where none had previously existed.”
And she was impressed with the work of NSIF after seeing a Panorama programme about Bulgarian man Darek Fidyka who learned to walk again with a frame thanks to the charity founded by David Nicholls whose son was left paralysed 10 years ago following a swimming accident in Australia.
Mathew, from Bodfari, Denbighshire, was walking home from the popular Denbigh and Flint Show with two friends when they were involved in a serious road accident in August, 2014. The collision left Mathew with multiple injuries as well as paralysis.
Lee hopes NSIF may one day include her son in its future trials which involve intense rehabilitation and cell transplantation.
Guests at the 2015 ball, including Mathew and family, were greeted with personal video messages from NSIF patrons ex-England cricketer Allan Lamb, former event rider Claire Lomas, ex-England rugby union player Will Greenwood and TV adventurer Bear Grylls.
Mathew’s wife Elinor recently posted: “I’m sure you’re all aware of the accident that involved my husband Mathew two years ago that changed his and our family’s lives. To me, as his wife, it was heartbreaking but having the hope that one day he may walk again gives you the drive to push on regardless.
“Not that Matt would ever run a marathon but to stand unattended next to me and our son would be amazing. I would give up everything I own for this to happen. Every little helps towards reversing paralysis. Also the money will go to a fantastic hospital, the RJAH Orthopaedic and District Hospital in Gobowen, that supported us so amazingly for the four months we were there. Please come and join us on 24 September at what will be the best night ever. It will support thousands of people like Matt.”
There are still a few tickets, priced £55 each, available for the Moulin Rouge Ball on Saturday, September 24, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Hoole, which includes a three course dinner, comedy, live music, raffle, silent auction and more. Visit the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.