Sleaford Town Awards - overcoming adversity award nominee the Freeman family

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The resilience and positivity of a tragedy-hit family has resulted in them being nominated for the Overcoming Adversity Award in Sleaford Town Awards.

Ian Freeman, a 40-year-old computer science teacher, appealed through The Standard for help to make the kitchen area of his Grantham Road home wheelchair-friendly after his second wife, Louise, was paralysed last September when she fainted in the shower and broke her neck.

Family life had been shattered when Ian’s first wife, Maxine, died in a car crash in Cambridgeshire in 2014. Devastated, Ian and his two young children moved to Sleaford. He said: “I did not expect to find love again, but then I met Louise, and in May of last year we got married.”

Louise has regained some use of her arms, but will remain wheelchair-bound, requiring major home alterations. Some of the work is being paid for by the district council, but some re-modelling work was not covered.

They have stayed incredibly positive, even when Ian suffered Deep Vein Thrombosis in his leg from a DIY injury. Ian said: “The kids have been tremendously resilient despite all the upheaval.”

Giving up work to visit Louise in hospital in Sheffield and look after Daisy and Joshua, he turned to The Standard which generated offers of help from tradespeople and individuals, and with fundraising.

Louise said: “Thank you to all the kind people who are helping to get the house ready for me to come home.”