Fund for stroke hit Clitheroe bride on target

Gary Kent with his wife Heather, who suffered a stroke at 34, with Beth Schinkel, who ran 100 miles in four days to raise 1,500 towards a motorised scooter for Heather.
Gary Kent with his wife Heather, who suffered a stroke at 34, with Beth Schinkel, who ran 100 miles in four days to raise 1,500 towards a motorised scooter for Heather.

A fund, set up to help a Clitheroe bride who suffered a devastating stroke, is flying.

The coffers for the appeal to get Heather Kent a motorised wheelchair now stand at just over £3,500 and it is rising all the time.

Last week Burnley mum of five Beth Schinkel ran an incredible 100 miles in just four days and her efforts, along with a charity dinner she arranged, helped swell the fund by £1,500.

The story of how Heather suffered the devastating stroke at the age of just 34 has touched the hearts of the community in the Ribble Valley.

Heather collapsed in November last year at the home she shared in Thailand with her Clitheroe born husband, Gary. The couple had only tied the knot seven months earlier in Cape Town, South Africa, where Heather is from.

They met while Heather was holidaying in Thailand ahere Gary had lived and worked for several years as a diving instructor.

After marrying the couple settled in Thailand and were on the verge of managing their own diving school when disaster struck.

Heather received treatment in South Africa before the couple made the decision to move to Gary's home in the Ribble Valley.

Gary is well known in the area and when people heard about what had happened to Heather the community rallied to help.

Donations have been flooding in from family and friends and Gary has also been touched by the response from former pupils he has taught to dive from all over the world.

Family friend Helen Powell set up with the just giving page with its first aim to buy the motorised wheelchair for Heather to give her some independence and freedom.

Runner Beth met Gary at Clitheroe Rugby Club where her husband, Getty, is coach and when she heard what had happened to Heather she was determined to help.

Gary and Heather joined Beth on the last kilomete of the run and they held a celebration party for family and friends at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe to thank her.

Gary said: "What Beth has brought into our lives is amazing and what she has achieved is fantastic.

"She is a wonderful young lady who, along with her husband, have become friends for life."

If you would like to make a donation to help Heather log on to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpheathergetwheels