Workmen rally to help paralysed Ottery St Mary mum regain her independence

South West Highways apprentices: Cameron Surtees, Ryan Wakely, Sam Gilpin, Dale Brooks, Jack Bingham

South West Highways apprentices: Cameron Surtees, Ryan Wakely, Sam Gilpin, Dale Brooks, Jack Bingham, Will Nethacott with assessor Sean Mcmahon, CITB apprenticeship officer Angus Hamilton and Lucy Lowe - Credit: Archant

A team of apprentices resurfaced Lucy’s drive free of charge

A paralysed mum-of-four has finally regained her independence - thanks to the hard work and generosity of a few kind-hearted individuals.

Lucy Lowe, 38, was injured in a freak accident on her wedding night and complications following surgery to remove her coccyx left her hospitalised and confined to a wheelchair for life.

The family suffered an agonising 21-month separation while they desperately appealed for help to raise the £30,000 needed to fund vital renovations to their St Budeaux Close home, so Lucy could return.

Although finally reunited in March, Lucy was still unable to leave the house by herself because of its steep drive – until this week.

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On Monday, a group of apprentice workers and supervisors gave up their time and skills to resurface the drive completely free of charge.

Angus Hamilton, apprenticeship officer for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), was moved by Lucy’s plight and co-ordinated the joint effort with help from Sean McMahon of South West Highways – a company that sub contracts to Devon County Council.

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Aggregate Industries (AI), a private firm that quarries in the region, supplied around £800-worth of materials to resurface the drive for free.

Lucy said: “It has made the world of difference. It has given me my independence. That’s the last bit [to be renovated]. I could not get out myself at all before – there have been a few incidents where I had nearly fallen off the chair, even with people pushing me. It feels amazing. I have got a car coming in a couple of weeks, which will make all the difference as I will be able to drive and go out. A massive thank-you to all involved. I think it took a bit of pulling off.”

Angus - a friend of Lucy’s - said: “I thought if I can’t help Lucy out and do something then who will? I got in touch with Sean and he said speak to Aggregate Industries. Sean has worked really hard to get all the people in place. This group of apprentices just need to be signed off and we said to them about doing this. It’s taken a lot of work from everyone - it was just getting the right people in the right places.”

Graham Rowland, quarry manager for AI, said: “Mine was the easy part. These guys got it all together.”

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