Lucy hits £3k fundraising target in 12 days

Lucy Lowe and children Lydia,Tilly,Callum and Barnaby with some of the wheelchair fundraising items

Lucy Lowe and children Lydia,Tilly,Callum and Barnaby with some of the wheelchair fundraising items she sells. Ref sho 0598-02-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

An Ottery mum-of-four who has lost the use of her legs was ‘gobsmacked’ when she raised £3,000 in under two weeks to replace her ‘unsuitable’ NHS wheelchair.

Lucy Lowe was left disabled after complications during surgery to remove her coccyx – but without the facilities she needs she has been unable to adapt to her new way of life.

She has had to live at her parents’ nearby home for the last six months as it is too costly to adapt her own house, so began fundraising to collect £3,000 for a new wheelchair.

“No one is sure if my condition will improve or not. It hasn’t made much progress so far,” said the St Budeaux Close resident.

“I haven’t really had any chance to come to terms with my new way of life yet.

“I am an extremely determined lady. I don’t like anything to hold me back.”

After she damaged her coccyx, doctors said that having it removed was the best way for her to sit comfortably again – but after unknown complications she became a bilateral paraplegic.

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“The wheelchair that I was offered by the NHS was completely unsuitable,” said Lucy, who is a member of the carnival committee and joined a sky dive to boost the tar barrels’ coffers a few years ago.

“Having my independence is very important – for me and for [my children] and my husband.”

She began fundraising ‘like mad’, mainly by crocheting 300 Christmas decorations that cover Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

And thanks to the generosity of friends, family and well-wishers she exceeded her original target in just 12 days.

She added: “I’ve now upped the target to £5,000 because the wheelchairs are bespoke so you can add extras to them. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could even reach the £3,000. I was gobsmacked at the response.”

The extra cash will allow her to add suspension and off-road tyres to the chair, so she can take her ‘active, caring’ children, aged between 10 and 16, to East Hill and Haldon Forest.

In the long term she is also looking to convert her garage into a bedroom and wet room, and she will need to apply for funding to have a ramp installed.

To help her reach her target, visit

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