Moving video from family of paralysed Leeds gran, 63, thanks community for generosity

Have your say

Funds raised by a caring community have given a sense of freedom back to a paralysed Leeds grandmother.

More than £4,000 has so far been raised through a series of community fundraisers in aid of retired nurse Val Duggan, who became paralysed due to a cancerous tumour on her spine last year.

Val Duggan pictured at home with her three grandchildren earlier this year.

Val Duggan pictured at home with her three grandchildren earlier this year.

The proceeds have been spent on adaptations to a family car so that Val can finally get out and about with her daughter Lisa Hirsch and her three grandchildren, who are helping to look after her.

Thanks to the car the 63-year-old former St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School gardener, from Beeston, was taken to see her parents for the first time in months at their residential home last week.

A video posted by Lisa thanking supportive residents involved with the Save Our Beeston Facebook forum has since been liked by hundreds of people.

Lisa, who works as a teaching assistant, told the YEP: “It will just be amazing. It means we can do so much more as a family – it’s going to make a massive difference to our lives.

“The support has been overwhelming. Beeston sometimes gets a bad name but this just goes to show that there are so many good people out there.”

Val lost the feeling in her feet and paralysis spread upwards during a trip to see family in New Zealand in October last year.

She was flown home and tests revealed she had incurable breast cancer that had spread to her spine. Val is now paralysed from the chest down.

After her diagnosis, more than 80 people did a sponsored onesie walk around south Leeds in aid of the family, while the Save Our Beeston Facebook forum raised more than £3,000 through fundraising events.

Lisa is also having adaptations including a wet room and wheelchair ramp fitted to her home in the coming weeks to give Val a further boost.

Lisa added: “Mum’s just accepting of it all, she’s never once complained and accepts that this is her life now and we do what we can to make the best of it.”