THE family of a woman given two hours to live after suffering complications giving birth have been flooded with donations and messages of support since sharing her story.
Last week Rachel Harry’s family spoke to the Leader about the progress she is making as she learns to walk and communicate again.
Three weeks before giving birth to daughter Freya in July 2012, Rachel’s leg became swollen.
According to Rachel’s family, she had a “normal pregnancy”, but when she went on to give birth by Caesarean section, it was found a blood clot had travelled to her heart.
Rachel’s heart stopped for 20 minutes and as a result of the complications, she suffered a hypoxic brain injury.
The 33-year-old, of Llwyn Onn, Wrexham, is now in the process of learning to walk, stand and communicate again. Rachel’s family say the progress she has made since leaving hospital in June 2013 has been “remarkable”.
Her mother, Karan Harry, 56, said there had been an “incredible” response to the Leader story, with people getting in touch to offer their good wishes as well as generous donations towards Rachel’s vital physio sessions.
She attends the sessions – one NHS-funded and three private, four times a week.
The private sessions cost £75 a time, totalling almost £1,000 per month, and are financed by the Rachel Harry Fund, a charity set up by dad Paul Harry and his friends.
Karan said: “It’s been quite a week. The response we’ve had has been totally overwhelming.
“People have been so generous. We’ve had so many lovely messages and generous donations. Facebook has gone mad too.
“Rachel hasn’t stopped smiling. There’s been a real buzz amongst us all (the family).”
Karan said donations had ranged from neighbours knocking on their door to people contacting Therapy Matters in Rossett – where Rachel has her physio sessions – directly. There has also been an anonymous donation.
“We just want to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who has been touched by Rachel’s story and donated, receiving the anonymous donation with enough money to pay for a physio session inside a card was just lovely,” Karan said. “I just can’t believe people’s generosity.”
On Saturday Redbrook Day Nursery in Wrexham, which Freya attends, held a fun day which raised £400.
Karan said it was a “fantastic day”. “I can’t thank the girls at the nursery enough. They did so much to make it a really lovely day,” she said.
“They were absolutely fantastic. They made their own sweet bags. People made cakes for it. The turnout was excellent.”
Despite her family being told Rachel wouldn’t walk or talk again, almost three years on, she can stand and sit up unaided and is taking steps towards communicating.
Karan added: “The messages and donations really have been wonderful. I suppose we’ve all been so wrapped up in caring for Rachel and making sure she has the best chance of improving that we’ve kind of forgot that people have wanted to know how she’s doing. We can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness.”
l Anyone who wishes to donate to the Rachel Harry Fund can call Naomi Penrose at the Leader, on 01978 340336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will contact Rachel’s family.
See full story in the Leader