Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
A STRATFORD-upon-Avon artist who was nearly paralysed in a car crash last year is a “walking miracle” according to doctors.
Shelley Faulkner, aged 27, has almost made a full recovery since rolling her car on the Stratford Road near Alcester on an icy November morning.
During the crash, her head smashed through the driver’s window and two vertebrae in her neck fused together.
After 11 days in hospital, and countless trips back for assessment, Shelley is now walking and talking.
Three operations have put a metal plate in her arm, as well as rods and pins into her neck. She says her head is literally screwed on.
Speaking to the Herald, she thanked passer-by Andy Freke. “If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be here,” she said, simply.
The Alcester man was out buying petrol when he saw the wreckage.
“He went into dad mode and made sure I stayed still,” said Shelley. “He kept joking around with me and put my belongings in my bag.”
Now the pair are friends, meeting up around once a month.
“I was invited to his 50th birthday party,” boasted Shelley. “I have been adopted as a member of his family, he’s got two young children; I’d like to see them grow up.”
Getting a second go at life has been a theme for Shelley since the crash.
The Fine Art graduate is going back to university in September to study Occupational Therapy.
“Having physio and occupational therapy myself I have seen the importance,” she said. Her physiotherapists cannot believe the progress she’s made.
“Apparently I’m a bit of a walking miracle, I am still having a lot of appointments at Queen Elizabeth [Hospital in Birmingham]
“They’re amazed. Because I have got metalwork in my neck, they were worried for my sight and speech.
“My left hand; they didn’t think I would be able to hold stuff, carry anything, and OK I’ve dropped a couple of things, but my left hand has come on leaps and bounds.”
At one point, she wanted doctors to amputate it rather than leave it useless.
Shelley was on her way to work in November when her car skidded on an icy road with leaves.
“I remember thinking I’m on the wrong side of the road and I couldn’t get back onto my side of the road,” she said.
Panicking, she thought: “I’m going to go head on into a bus full of kids. I pictured it like a computer game where the people fly over the car.
“I must’ve passed out because I woke up and everything was green, there was green everywhere, and broken glass.”
After Andy and other passers-by helped, she was treated by a paramedic from the Midlands Air Ambulance.
“She was so kind and didn’t let [me] worry,” said Shelley. “I have since been able to meet Candice (the paramedic) again and I could not thank her enough.”
This year, Shelley’s hoping to hold a charity event around the 15th November to mark the first anniversary of her crash and also give something back to the air ambulance.
“If it weren’t for the emergency services and the medical staff I would not be giving my life another go,” she said.
And it’s this new lease of life that’s got her a place on a three-year Occupational Therapy Bachelors course at University of the West of England.
“As time goes on there will be more thanks yous,” she said. But for now, she’s looking forward to the future.
This article first appeared in the Herald on Thursday 19th June. For all the latest news in South Warwickshire pick up the paper each week for 60p.