Fundraising after Leeds man's battle with ultra-rare nerve disorder sparks LGI revamp

Supporters of a Beeston man, who almost died after being diagnosed with an ultra-rare nerve disorder, have raised £1,300 to help families in crisis.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 9:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2016, 10:13 am
Sam Powell in hospital during his illness.
Sam Powell in hospital during his illness.

Sam Powell, 19, woke up one morning last March unable to walk and after being rushed to Leeds General Infirmary it emerged he had Guillian-Barre Syndrome, in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

The condition, which leaves patients unable to move, swallow or breathe unassisted, left the former cleaning firm worker in a coma for three days and intensive care for 36 more.

As he continues the lengthy recovery process more than a year on, his supporters have raised funds that have been used to revamp the LGI Intensive Care Unit waiting room they spent so much time in.

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Sam’s girlfriend Charlotte Coffey, who is an 18-year-old childminder, said: “The room used to be really dark and made us feel down and when we were in there visiting Sam, we were in the waiting room more than the ward.

“The money’s helped to make it bright and cheerful. We wanted to make it easier for families who might end up in that situation.”

Charlotte, who is from Tingley, has fundraised over recent months through a charity auction of rugby league memorabilia and a sponsored walk through her work.

Meanwhile Sam has been on the long road to recovery following a 10-week bout of illness that left him having to learn to walk again at Chapel Allerton Hospital.

Sam’s friends and family now hope to raise further funds and awareness for the GAIN charity, which helps people with Guillian-Barre – a disorder that affects just one in 100,000 people and has no known cause.

Charlotte added: “He’s [Sam] done really well. It takes some people years to get where he has.”

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