Public joins fight to bring poorly ex-nurse home

David Blackburn is desperately trying to return his mum home to Foulridge. David is pictured with his mum, Doreen and his dad, Maurice.
David Blackburn is desperately trying to return his mum home to Foulridge. David is pictured with his mum, Doreen and his dad, Maurice.

The family of a stranded stroke victim have been left “overwhelmed” by community support.

In Friday’s newspaper, we threw our weight behind the desperate plea of the relatives of Doreen Blackburn.

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

The animal lover 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, which includes Mrs Blackburn’s children Dave (56), Sharon (53) and Michael (50), have been inundated with phone calls, with residents making individual donations and organising fund-raising events.

Preparations for cake sales, sponsored waxing, and car washes are underway, and support has been shown by Pendle Stroke Group.

Doreen’s daughter-in-law Pamela Blackburn (44), of Sycamore Rise, Foulridge, said: “I am overwhelmed, amazed, I just didn’t expect the kind of response that we’ve got. It is very humbling and words fail me.

“We have had individual donations from people who want to remain anonymous, and I have lost count of the number of phone calls offering to do sponsored events.

“We are just so grateful for people’s generosity, and it has reduced the girls in our family to tears.

“For the first time as a family, we don’t feel like we are battling on our own. It is a true sense of a community coming together to help somebody that’s in need.”

And Doreen’s daughter Sharon Borrowdale, of Grassington Drive, Burnley, added: “It’s just been absolutely unbelievable - we can’t believe it. “To hear about people that don’t even know us donating is absolutely wonderful.”

Among events being organised is a waxing and head shave day at Joseph Lanzante, in Walmsley Court, Clayton-le-Moors.

Doreen’s niece Debbie Davies is one of the organisers behind the event, which will see residents getting sponsored to have a shave or a wax.

To get involved or to donate a raffle prize ring 01254 427575 or email

To make a donation to the family’s pot visit

Alternatively ring Dave or Pamela on 861503 or 866748, or email

For more information on fund-raising events being held for Doreen, see Friday’s Express.

For all the latest news you can also find us on Twitter or like our Facebook page.