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Hare: Your support has kept me going

PUBLISHED: 14:46 08 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:53 03 March 2010

SPEEDWAY: Lawrence Hare today opened his heart to Evening Star readers and said that it is the support he has received that has kept him positive.

"It has been overwhelming," said the 32-year-old Ipswich-based speedway rider who is paralysed after suffering horrendous injuries riding for Exeter at Newport over three weeks ago.

LAWRENCE Hare today opened his heart to Evening Star readers and said that it is the support he has received that has kept him positive.

"It has been overwhelming," said the 32-year-old Ipswich-based speedway rider who is paralysed after suffering horrendous injuries riding for Exeter at Newport over three weeks ago.

Since then he has remained rigid on his back staring at the same area of ceiling in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.

His head remains screwed to a special brace that he hopes to have removed tomorrow week.

He has movement in his arms, but is resigned to spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

"I just cannot believe the response from so many people," said Hare. "It has kept me going."

And, typical of the man, he added: "I can't wait to get to Ipswich and thank everybody personally.

"It is difficult to appreciate all that is going on from this hospital ward, but I see all The Evening Stars and it gives me a big lift to know that so many people are thinking of me."

Hare, who can now lift his arms above his head and expects to recover enough feeling in his hands to be able to pick items up, had more than 300 e-mails read out to him yesterday.

Not afraid to discuss his condition he added: "I try to keep positive. It has been unbearable some days and I cannot explain the pain.

"It can be a bit frightening and you wonder whether there will be any light at the end of the tunnel.

"There are good days and bad days and I take each one as it comes.

"The pain is gradually getting less and I plan to make the most of my situation. In my life I have always tried to have as much fun as possible and I aim to carry on the same.

"When the traction is removed I will be able to hopefully sit up a bit. And then it will be rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville.

"Yesterday I ate an ice cream. It was not a pretty sight, but I did it. It was a little thing but a step along the way.

"Just lying here you don't have much of an appetite.

"I am having to learn all over again how to use my arms and I may not recover full feelings in my little and ring fingers."

Hare today has his mother and father, Dawn and John, by his bedside and he is seeing a stream of selected visitors including Richard Wright's brother, Stuart, who brought in a signed Arsenal shirt on the eve of Saturday's FA Cup final.

His wife Stacey is due by his bedside tomorrow after a break back in Ipswich.

"I am looking forward to that," he added. "I can't believe that £3,000 was raised for me at Ipswich's home meeting on Monday and the same at Exeter. People are so kind.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but riding a speedway bike is something I always wanted to do. No one could have denied me that.

"I had a tremendous amount of fun, although in the back of the mind was always a feeling that something like this might happened. If I knew what the pain would be like I would think again."

Hare recalls the accident where he was gathering speed and the rider in front of him was slowing.

"I just clipped his back wheel and knew as soon as I landed that I was paralysed.

"My bike came into me and struck just below my helmet and just above my back protector.

"Whether an airfence would have saved me, I don't know.

"My spinal cord is not severed. It is pinched and when I was operated on they grafted a bone from my thigh into my back for extra strength."

Although he may not agree in his present circumstances Hare's immediate family and friends are sure he is made of the right stuff to lead a full and active live.

His fundraisers have set a target of £100,000, which will make a huge difference to his well-being when he returns to Ipswich.

"It is an unbelievable sum," added a rider who was a big favourite at all the clubs he rode for.

He said that he wanted to thank each and every person who has sent a card or message and to his wife, parents, brother Stewart and aunt Lynn Dennis who is helping to organise his fund with family friends Mike and Aja Western. And to all the tracks, including John and Magda Louis at Ipswich, who are staging meetings for him.

The Witches one is on May 30 at Foxhall Stadium involving Edinburgh, Oxford and Exeter - four of his clubs.

"I so want to be there," said Hare.


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