Bridlington woman’s fund-raiser after brother broke his neck

Michelle Clayton is fund-raising for the Spinal Injuries Association.
Michelle Clayton is fund-raising for the Spinal Injuries Association.

A BRIDLINGTON woman is helping to organise a fund-raising event to thank a charity which supported her brother - who has amazed medics by learning to walk again after breaking his neck in a car crash.

Michelle Clayton, 27, now wants to give something back to the Spinal Injuries Association who supported her brother Allan Clayton during his recovery in Pinderfields General Hospital after the crash on Jewison Lane, in Bridlington back in 1999.

Despite being given a 20% chance of being able to walk again after suffering a broken neck in the crash, Allan, 30, has baffled medics by regaining the use of his legs.

After undergoing surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary, Allan, who was 17 years old at the time, was moved to Pinderfields General Hospital, where he spent six months in recovery.

“He got told at the beginning that without an operation he had a 5% chance of using his arms and legs again, and with the operation a 20% chance.

“Now he walks with a limp and doesn’t have full use of his right hand but he’s made an amazing recovery,” Michelle said.

“It’s my way of saying thankyou because Allan’s been trying to get the word out there and they helped him when he was in Pinderfields,” she added.

At the time the Spinal Injuries Association were sending volunteers into hospitals to offer support and encouragement to patients having to deal with serious injuries.

“They help you with every aspect of your recovery and make you realise that if you have a serious injury that it’s not the end. They are not counsellors but they make you realise that you have got a life if you end up in a wheelchair,” Allan said.

“I was given a 20% chance of moving my arms and legs again. I still suffer every day with massive amounts of pain but I don’t really tell anyone. I walk pretty badly but I’m lucky in that I worked really hard to walk again,” he added.

Allan, who moved to Leeds three years ago, is now working with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to put together a presentation about road safety which he plans to take into schools to teach youngsters about the risks.

Michelle has teamed up with her friend Kate Gardner to organise a fund-raising event at the Seabirds Pub, on Fortyfoot on Monday August 6 which will feature brave men volunteering to have their legs, chests and arms waxed, various stalls, a raffle, and an Ann Summers party for the ladies.

Allan added: “I would urge everyone to make the effort to go down there and support the event. You never know when you are going to need these charities. Within a second my life had changed and they were there to help. You don’t realise they’re there until something like that happens.”

Kate is raising money for Women Against Abuse – a charity based in Philadelphia, USA, which supports victims of domestic violence by providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal services, behavioural healthcare, advocacy and education.

As previously reported mum of two Kate has turned her life around after suffering a stroke at the age of 31, brought on by what she believes was the stress of being in an abusive relationship.

Kate now wants to help other women in Bridlington in similar situations and she said she has been amazed at the response since the Free Press told of her story.

“This has made me realise how lucky I actually was to make a full recovery and makes me realise how brave I am to speak out and do so much for it,” Kate said.