Funds grow for paralysed mum

LOOKING towards each other for support: Joanna and Michael Fowler.'Since mother-of-two Joanna Fowler, 39, of Birkdale, became a quadriplegic in November 2010, an outpouring of support has been her lifeline.

LOOKING towards each other for support: Joanna and Michael Fowler.'Since mother-of-two Joanna Fowler, 39, of Birkdale, became a quadriplegic in November 2010, an outpouring of support has been her lifeline.

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The family of a former Leyland woman who has been left paralysed after a freak accident in Australia has spoken of their amazement after kind-hearted fundraisers donated more than £25,000 to the mum-of-two.

Joanna Fowler, 39, moved to Queensland almost four years ago with her family.

But Joanna, a former teacher who used to live in Lowther Drive, broke her neck when she slipped and snagged her trousers as she scrambled over a 5ft-high garden gate in Birkdale, near Brisbane, in November last year.

She has been in hospital unable to move her arms or legs since, and is paralysed from the neck down.

Her family, including husband Michael, 38, and children Conner, 11, and Danielle, 17, have now moved into a new home which is to be adapted thanks to a Government grant to allow it to be converted so Joanna can move around in her wheelchair.

But the family also want to buy a specially adapted vehicle which can fit her wheelchair.

And since details of Joanna’s accident were first published the fund for the car is now up to $40,000 – around £25,000.

Her father-in-law Kevin Fowler, 57, said he wanted to thank everyone for their efforts, particularly Katie Brewster, a former student at Ormiston College, where Joanna worked as a chemistry teacher. He said: “She had some problems at school and Jo had taken her under her wing.

“She’s the one who has done a lot of the fund-raising. It is just amazing that she has taken it on.”

The money will be used to adapt a car with a ramp and docking station.

Mr Fowler said the family are now keen to get Jo, who has been in hospital since the accident in November, back home.

They are hoping to have her home by June but she has been coming home for visits every weekend and will spent Easter with her family.

Mr Fowler added: “We are just wanting to get Jo home.

“The main thing that is going to change everything for the family now is getting her out of the hospital.

“Obviously it is not the best place for anyone to be no matter how much they look after you.

“They have got a family to run and they need to be together to run that family.

“It is just a matter for waiting for the renovations to be done.

“We went over three days after it happened, and it was horrendous just seeing her in the bed.

“She has always been strong.”

She and Michael officially became Australian citizens nine months ago.