Campaign to get stranded stroke victim home goes worldwide

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A family’s campaign to get a stranded stroke victim back home has gone worldwide.

Last week, we threw our weight behind the desperate plea from the relatives of Doreen Blackburn.

Family of Doreen Blackburn

Family of Doreen Blackburn

Mrs Blackburn (78), a former Pendle nurse, is currently in a Red Cross rehabilitation centre in Portugal, after having had two major strokes in November.

She had expressed a desire to return to England with her husband Maurice, having moved to Portugal 15 years ago.

But less than a week later she had suffered a stroke at home and in the ambulance, and now it will cost an estimated £12,000 to fly her home with medical assistance.

Since our appeal, the family have managed to reach almost a third of their target, and the story has received coverage in Portugal and Germany, Through individual donations, cheques and fund-raising events around £4,000 has been collected so far.

The family, which includes Doreen’s children Dave (56), Sharon (53) and Michael (50), in-laws, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, have been left overwhelmed by the response.

Doreen’s daughter Sharon Borrowdale, of Grassington Drive, Burnley, said: “It just means everything to us - we need to get my mum home. We want to care for her as a family, with dignity and respect.”

Doreen’s daughter-in-law Pamela Blackburn (44), of Sycamore Rise, Foulridge, added: “We don’t feel like we are tackling this all by ourselves.

“We are overwhelmed, very humbled, and just amazed at the generosity and support we have had from the people of Lancashire.”

Doreen’s grandchildren have also expressed their gratitude.

Sarah Goodall (32) said: “It’s reached so many people, and I just want to thank everyone really sincerely.”

And Charlotte Preston (21) added: “I can’t put into words what it means to everybody, the support from everybody is keeping us all going.”

A number of events are lined up to help add to Doreen’s fund.

l A £5 car wash at C & A 4x4, in Norfolk Street, Colne, tomorrow from 9-30am to 12-30pm

l A fund-raising day at Joseph Lanzante, in Walmsley Court, Clayton-le-Moors, on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Doreen’s niece Debbie Davies is one of the organisers behind the event, which will see residents getting sponsored to have a choice of wax or shave. There will be face painting, a raffle, hand massages, and a tombola.

l A full weekend of activities at The Morris Dancers, in Byron Road, Colne, on Friday March 7th and 8th. A coffee morning will be held between 10 and noon on the Friday, and there will be a tombola, a raffle, a cake stall and £4 hand massages. There will be a sponsored waxing, and there is hope of running a karaoke at 9pm. On the Saturday, there will be a Soul and Motown night, including a raffle.

To make a donation visit Alternatively ring Dave or Pamela on 861503 or 866748, or email