The show will go on for brave Ribble Valley girl Evie
A Ribble Valley musician involved in a horrific accident is being supported by her former school to help raise funds for one of the charities involved in her recovery.
Former Westholme pupil Evie Jones, from Mellor, moved to London in 2019 to work as an actor-musician. She was run over by a lorry while cycling to work one morning, leaving her with life changing injuries.
Now, the grateful 24-year-old is aiming to raise as much money as possible for a charity so that they can treat more people like Evie.
She said: “The accident took everything off my leg. All that was left was bone. I’ve had 12 operations in total including muscle and skin grafts.”
The accident happened in October and Evie has spent months in hospital. For six weeks doctors battled to save her leg and now, eight months on, she is able to walk with the support of a leg brace and walking stick.
Her intensive recovery routine includes a three-hour round trip, three times a week to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Morecambe. It’s one of just a handful of chambers across the country.
Evie explains: “The hyperbaric chamber treats around 1,000 people a year. It allows higher levels of oxygen to dissolve in the body and can reach places with bad circulation or that have been damaged. I have had 30-35 sessions so far and I believe it helped me keep my leg.”
The sessions are available via a small charity called A Breath for Life, set up in late 1996 who are currently trying to raise £100,000 to fund an extension so they can treat more people.
The charity charges just £10 for children and £25 for adults to provide affordable treatment for all. The same therapy in London is around £150 per hour.
Evie said the treatment makes such a difference. “I was a bit sceptical, but I was desperate. I was willing to try anything if it meant keeping my leg. Each time I come out of the chamber I have more energy and sleep better. Everything feels a lot easier.”
Later in the year Evie will be opening her former school’s Arts Festival. The event will raise money for two charities – A Breath for Life and The Captain Tom Foundation.
The Arts Festival is an opportunity for students to perform to an audience – with a mix of musical performances, acting, singing and gymnastics.
Evie said: “I’m so grateful to Westholme to offer to do this. It means a lot that my school is still supporting me after I’ve left.”
Mrs Lewis, who taught Evie A-Level music, said: “Evie is one of the brightest stars we ever had on our stage. When she is on stage, she sparkles. She’s dealing with this well.”
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