Speedway rider to move nearer home

PARALYSED speedway rider Lawrence Hare could soon be moved to a world famous hospital for rehabilitation, the Evening Star can reveal today.The popular 32-year-old, who lives in Ipswich but rode for Exeter – after stints at Ipswich Witches, Oxford, and Edinburgh – was seriously injured at Newport on April 13.

By Tracey Sparling

PARALYSED speedway rider Lawrence Hare could soon be moved to a world famous hospital for rehabilitation, the Evening Star can reveal today.

The popular 32-year-old, who lives in Ipswich but rode for Exeter – after stints at Ipswich Witches, Oxford, and Edinburgh – was seriously injured at Newport on April 13.

He had a major operation at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport last week and can move his arms.


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He has begun to exercise his arm muscles, and learn how to move to perform simple tasks to cope with daily life.

A hospital spokesman today said the news was encouraging.

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He said: "He came through the operation very well, and is now having physiotherapy sessions with staff."

He could not say whether Lawrence, known as Lol, had regained any feeling in his body, and added: "It is still early days yet. He is still in a stable condition.

"Doctors are planning to transfer him to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the next two or three weeks, which specialises in spinal injuries."

Stoke Mandeville Hospital near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, was where former speedway star John Simmons was treated after a similar speedway crash left him paralysed in 1973.

He had just turned 18 and the outlook was bleak, but three decades later he is leading a happy and active life from his home in Ipswich.

The Evening Star is collecting money to help Lol and his family, and his aunt Lynn Dennis said: "He was worried about the mortgage and bills, but the fund has enabled us say to him 'you just worry about getting fit again - we'll worry about the rest of it.'

"He is overwhelmed by the support. When I was up there reading the cards with him he couldn't get over the fact that everybody was thinking of him. He has had about 400 cards and letters from wellwishers, who wrote to say things like 'you might not remember me but I remember meeting you...'

"He's always had time for people and now their reaction to what has happened shows how popular he is. He even had a message signed from the 'Ipswich posties'.

"The huge amount of support has humbled him, bless him.

"The sister at the hospital said to him that his life is taking a different path, and I hope we can see light at the end of the tunnel now. Lol is being so strong, and he really is being incredibly brave.

"It's frustrating for him at the moment. He wants to get up and started on the rehabilitation. He gets a couple of physiotherapy sessions a day at Newport but it will be one-to-one at Stoke Mandeville.

"He can move his arms but needs to build up the muscles in his hands and wrists. It is marvelous what the physiotherapy can achieve."

She said the family chose Stoke Mandeville over Stanmore Hospital which is another 60 miles away, because Lol is going to need all his friends and family visiting for support.

The fund stands at £465 – with thousands more pounds pledged. And lots more events are being organised.

Donations payable to the Lawrence Hare appeal can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's secretary, The Evening Star 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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