Good samaritans answer family’s call for help

Appeal for help - Jennifer Pash needs volunteers to help make her disabled daughter and son-in-law's home fit to live in again. EMN-170428-112035001
Appeal for help - Jennifer Pash needs volunteers to help make her disabled daughter and son-in-law's home fit to live in again. EMN-170428-112035001

A renewed appeal to help a tragedy-hit Sleaford family turned upside-down by a freak accident has seen people rally to their aid again.

Now, paralysed Louise Freeman is potentially returning to her family home next week after adaption work is finally finished thanks to kind-hearted volunteers.

Her husband, IT teacher Ian Freeman, appealed for help through The Standard earlier this year to make alterations to the kitchen of their Grantham Road home in readiness for the return of his wife from hospital in Sheffield where she had been recovering from a fall in the shower last September.

Louise had broken her neck and is paralysed from the chest down. Having left hospital last month the couple and their two young children have been staying at a friend’s home until adaption work is completed.

After work in the kitchen to level the floor was done by local volunteers thanks to The Standard’s appeal, a lift, wet room and new doorways have been fitted by contractors funded by a North Kesteven District Council disability grant. However, the family last week needed further help as they realised there was still too much finishing off for them to do before they could move back in.

Louise’s mum Jennifer Pash contacted The Standard saying: “I am overwhelmed with the amount of work that there is still to do.

“Due to Louise’s disability, Ian is now my daughter’s full-time carer and is unable to leave Louise for any significant amount of time because her health is still too unstable and therefore the progress on the house has almost come to a standstill.

“Louise is out of hospital but her blood pressure, haemoglobin and iron levels are all down and she keeps fainting and she cannot come home because it is so dusty and dirty and cold in the house.”

Anywhere doors have been widened or kitchen units and sockets lowered, plasterwork was missing. They particularly needed help plastering and decorating.

Ian, who lost his first wife Maxine in a tragic car accident, said the extra work has come as a surprise due to unexpected snags. He said: “No-one was expecting a hole needing to be cut in the kitchen ceiling for access to pipework in the loft.”

After their story went on The Standard’s website and on local radio, the offers of help flooded in.

Jennifer said: “People are amazing. When something like this happens you just realise how kind people are.”

A plasterer and a painter/decorator offered their services, getting started at the weekend. A local woman also offered to help with DIY and a group from RAF Waddington are pitching in.

“It is all finally coming together and Louise will be able to come home,” said Jennifer

Philip Roberts, North Kesteven District Council’s corporate director, said the council had supported Mr and Mrs Freeman with a Disabled Facilities Grant, enabling works to the house by contractors with only a few outstanding items to be completed.

He said officers visited Mr Freeman on Friday and added: “The council has also agreed to an additional job of fixing the loft hatch in the kitchen of the property.”