IT was just over a year ago that Lyn and I bumped into Sharon Pannell at a Gosport car boot sale.
Sharon was trying to raise much need funds for her daughter Alicia who was born unexpectedly 10 weeks premature on January 30, 2003.
Alicia was cared for on the neonatal unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth for 7 weeks, when during her first few days of life she suffered a haemorrhage to her brain, which resulted in her being diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) at the age of just six months old.
Alicia underwent surgery to insert a vp shunt into her head to take control of the hydrocephalus. These medical problems have left Alicia needing 24 hour care, which her parents Lee and Sharon have undertaken unconditionally.
Alicia has three siblings – twins Courtney and Scarlett, and Kayleigh. Any cause is a worthy one so it was decided to become involved so Lyn and I asked for a wish list from the Pannell’s as to what would make a difference to their and Alicia’s life.
The answer was quite simple – a brand new specially designed wheelchair and hoists as well as equipment for their house to make their lives easier and more comfortable.
The challenge accepted, one of many that we have accepted over the past 12 months (supporting other local and national worthy causes) my wife and I have been fundraising relentlessly at various local Gosport pubs via team quizzes, all at different venues throughout the week.
These evenings combined with other one off events, resulted in a presentation evening being held recently at The Five Alls pub and co-hosted by landlady Paula Hutchinson who laid on pizzas and curry for everyone who had supported us, and a staggering £10,006.05 was given to Alicia to buy the life changing items that she badly needs.
All the Pannell family attended the night and Alicia sensed it was an evening all about and for her because throughout the evening she appeared to shout with delight and with an ever increasing smile, which was very reassuring bearing in mind since Christmas she has not been too well and in and out of hospital.
Sharon said: Words cannot express how we as a family feel, super heroes don’t have to wear capes and Les & Lyn are certainly heroes as far as we are concerned, and we thank them together with the support they have received from all the local community.’
To support Alicia and her parents, visit alicia-pannell.org.uk