Canoe challenge for Rebecca

SIX Suffolk men will today begin the daunting task of rowing 60 miles on Scottish lochs to raise money for a teenage girl who was left paralysed from the neck down.

SIX Suffolk men will today begin the daunting task of rowing 60 miles on Scottish lochs to raise money for a teenage girl who was left paralysed from the neck down.

Dennis McGeachie , Barry Adams, Mark Cooper, Martin Carter, Andrew German and Colin Damant will be taking on the Caledonian Canal Challenge.

Starting at Neptune's Staircase, at Fort William, paired in open canoes, they will row more than 60 miles, taking on the 600ft deep icy waters of Loch Ness, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Dochfour, ending at Inverness.

The aim is to raise money in support of 16-year-old Rebecca Ling who was left paralysed from the neck down following an operation for curvature of the spine in January last year.


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She has since had a tracheotomy tube inserted into her neck and is connected to a ventilator to help her breathe, speak and eat solids.

Mr Damant's daughter Charlotte, 16, met Rebecca when she had the same operation to correct spine curvature, called scoliosis.

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He said: “Some two years have now passed and my daughter can now lead a very active life as any normal sixteen-year-old should, including majorettes, skiing, part-time waitress and riding her scooter.

“We are so lucky and feel the decision we made as parents to sign the permission for the operations was justified.

“We knew there was a small percentage risk of paralysis and I will never forget the time we sat waiting while Charlotte had two five-hour operations.”

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