Leeds: Support for DJ Dean’s charity growing

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A DJ who lost both feet and most of his fingers to blood poisoning has launched his own foundation to help children with disabilities.

Dean Smahon beat the odds to survive after being taken desperately ill last year.

Despite losing both his feet to septicaemia and only being left with a thumb and two fingers on his left hand, Dean is DJing again and is determined to use his experience to help others – so he has set up the Dean Smahon Foundation.

After his story was reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post in March, donations and support flooded in.

A club night raised over £9,000 and more than £10,000 has been collected so far.

Dean’s next event is a five-a-side football tournament on Saturday, April 7, in Leeds.

He said: “I have such great gratitude for the support – it has been overwhelming.

“It has increased 100-fold the awareness of what we are trying to do.

“This is the first event and we hope to make it annual.”

Dean first became ill with excruciating hip pain last October and was rushed to intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary, where he was put into an induced coma.

Medics diagnosed septicaemia, though they didn’t know how he had contracted it, and Dean’s organs began to fail.

His girlfriend, Kirsty McHale, was told his chances of survival were less than five per cent and doctors warned they’d never seen anyone so ill survive.

But Dean, who lives in Leeds city centre, battled on and came out of the coma after 11 days. He was in hospital for months and has to go back regularly for more treatment and surgery.

Inspired by the support he has had from medical teams and friends, the DJ – who runs the Leeds club night Back 2 Mine with Graham Nixon – set up his charity.

His aim is to raise cash for top-class prosthetics and also to help children with similar disabilities.

Following the success of his club night, he and Kirsty have organised a five-a-side football tournament at Goals, off Kirkstall Road in Leeds, on Saturday, which is also backing the cause.

Teams of club promoters and owners across West Yorkshire have each given a £500 donation to take part and the event is sponsored by Leeds bar and club Fibre and Mission.

There will also be a Beat The Goalie contest and Dean is hoping lots of spectators will come along and support the teams.

The 49-year-old said: “These guys are doing something out of their own pocket for my charity.

“If I can even just raise £500 each from them it will be great to give something back.”

For details of Dean’s charity and fundraising, find him on Facebook. Saturday’s tournament starts at 1pm.

PIC: James Hardisty

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