As the rest of Yorkshire eagerly anticipated the Tour De France 15 year old cycling enthusiast Jenny Unwin had just finished her GCSE exams and had started a summer job at CASCADE GARDEN CENTRE, nr Ripon, to save for her future university studies in veterinary.
On the 3rd July she left work to cycle the short journey home to Burton Leonard planning to paint her sister Imogen’s toenails in TDF colours. Tragically within five minutes Jenny had been hit by a car at a local accident black spot. She was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where her family were later to be given the tragic news that she had suffered life-changing injuries resulting in her being paralysed from the chest down.
The following day Jenny received spinal surgery to stabilise her spine and she remained in the HDU unit at LGI whilst her family fought hard to have her transferred to the nearest spinal rehabilitation centre at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. By the end of July she had taken up residence at Pinderfields where she has embarked upon an extensive rehabilitation process to acquire the new skills that will sustain her independence in the years ahead. The programme will include provision for developing any sensation that may develop during the rehabilitation period. Throughout her ordeal Jenny has demonstrated a courage and resilience beyond her years, remaining positive and cheerful, continually supported by her family and friends from school and the local community.
Having celebrated her 16th birthday at Pinderfields Jenny’s first post episode personal challenge was to test her newly acquired wheelchair skills and get to Ripon Grammar School to collect her GCSE results with her friends on the 21st August. Despite a 5.30am start to the day, Jenny succeeded in getting there to the fantastic news that she had achieved 11 GCSE’s – 7 A* and 4 A’s. She has now commenced her A Level studies over three years rather than two in recognition of the adjustments and continuous rehab Jenny will have to undertake in life after injury.
Given the track record of previous Pinderfields’ patients in attaining medals at the Paralympics, and being a keen swimmer and cyclist, Jenny has set her sights on competing at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Jen is a champion of positivity beyond impairment and the strength of the human spirit. Her passion for life is unbroken inspiring those of us who are blessed to share her life to help her overcome the psychological and physical obstacles in the years ahead.
The initial objectives of the Jenny Unwin appeal will be to fundraise for equipment etc. that will assist in optimising Jenny’s mobility, affording her as independent life as possible. We hope you will pledge your support.
For further details please contact 01765 676727, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jennyunwinappeal.com
Hi Jenny, (and family.)
You don’t know us but we are long term friends of Jane and Ian Phillips.
I have just read the e-mail that Jane sent explaining that they will not send Xmas cards this year so that they can offer support to you and your family. I fully understand and endorse this.
I wish I could turn back the clock for you and make everything as it was, but I know I can’t.
I have children and grandchildren of my own and cannot imagine what you and your family are going through.
However you seem to be a remarkable young women who I am sure will be an inspiration to so many in the future.
You have already shown amazing strength, determination and courage and you have my timeless admiration for that.
I know it is easy for me to say, and I am sure you will have heard it many times before, but it is true that medical science makes amazing advances as time goes by and who knows what assistance may be available to you in the future.
The human body is also an amazing machine that sometimes bypasses a problem and re-routes itself to overcome a difficulty,who knows?
If you believe in yourself there is nothing you can’t achieve.
Think of all those men and women injured in war who at one time would have been left in the shadows, but who can now, thanks to medical advances, lead full lives.
Look what Steven Hawkins has achieved.
I look forward to seeing you in the Olympics sometime in the future. Make sure you get there.
My name is Rob, I witnessed your terrible accident and administered first aid to you at the scene. You have been in my thoughts ever since. I admire your spirit and tenacity and wish you all the best in achieving your goals in education and sports. You are an inspiration.
Keep track of our success in the appeal
- Appeal Target – £1000,000 100%
- Money Raised so far £ 3%