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Award for speedway Lol's courage

PUBLISHED: 18:17 26 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Witches star Lol Hare is already proving the doctors wrong.

Determination is winning his fight back to fitness after a speedway crash left him paralysed from the chest down two months ago.

IPSWICH Witches star Lol Hare is already proving the doctors wrong.

Determination is winning his fight back to fitness after a speedway crash left him paralysed from the chest down two months ago.

He can now move fingers which the surgeons said would never work again.

He text-messages his friends, pulls on a T-shirt, and uses a knife and fork again, to reclaim a degree of valuable independence and dignity.

It's remarkable progress from a month ago when he struggled to hold an Evening Star open in his hands.

He was delighted to receive the Evening Star's highest honour of a Gold Star award, in front of his proud parents John and Dawn.

The surprise award, given as a mark of respect for his courage and determination, was presented on behalf of readers.

Lol said: "Thank you. I'll treasure it and put it on my wall at home when I get home.

"I plan to display all the hundreds of cards and gifts people have sent me, in the spare bedroom."

Despite being taken by ambulance to visit Cardiff's speedway Grand Prix and spending six-hour days in a wheelchair at Newport Hospital, he was not allowed on wheels since arriving at Stoke Mandeville Hospital - until last Friday .

The rehabilitation experts at the world-famous National Spinal Injuries Centre are taking it slowly, and there's no doubt it will be a long battle.

But at night, between heart-to-hearts with night staff and watching tv to pass the time, Lol has been working his arm muscles with hand weights.

He said: "I keep moving my arms up and down as I watch tv, so I just don't fade away. I've always been fit and done some sort of exercise. I need certain chest muscles and my back to be stronger."

Shell-suited Jimmy Savile has appeared in his doorway twice, and is a regular visitor to the wards after he fundraised to open the unit 20 years ago, and still supports.

Members of his family are amazed at the generosity of wellwishers, who are sending hundreds of cards and donation to the fundraising appeal for his future.

Donations to the Lol Hare Appeal, run by his aunt Lynn Dennis and former speedway promoter Mike Western in conjunction with the Evening Star, can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

It has so far raised more than £62,000 for his future, and aims to hit £100,000.

N

See tomorrow's Evening Star for an exclusive interview with Lol at Stoke Mandeville.

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