Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Campaign to support paralysed accident victim

THE partner of a Knowle man left paralysed after a cycling accident says she has been overwhelmed by support from the community.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

Accountant Andrew Naylor, 48, has lost the use of his legs and left arm after the May 26 accident near Hatton Country World.

Partner Sarah Nolan, 46, spoke as friends prepare to launch a £10,000 fundraising campaign to pay for home adaptations and care with the first event on Friday.

She said: “The network of people we have got in the community, it is the people pulling together like that which has got me through these last five-and-a-half months.”

Miss Nolan said their links to Knowle and Dorridge Running Club, Knowle and Dorridge Racquets Club and Copt Heath Golf Club had seen friends rally around.

“From the moment this happened I had things like a rota drawn up of making meals for us. The running club sorted a rota for people to sort my garden.

“It is such a fantastic example of living in a community. It was invaluable and it was the only reason myself and my family have been able to survive.”

The dad-of-two is at The Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries in Oswestry, Shropshire and is to go to a private intermediatary care facility in Hall Green for six weeks before coming home.

The Widney Road resident said of the accident: “It was a standard Saturday morning, teenagers in bed, I go for my run and he goes for a cycle.

“We were getting a bit concerned, he had been out for some time.

“I was bouncing in and out and I said ‘not to worry, he will be back, he has taken a long route or had a puncture or broken a chain’.”

The personal injury solicitor said she went to Tesco and the police then arrived at the house but could not tell the children what had happened.

“I got back, I saw the police on the drive, I feared the worst. It was awful.”

Mr Naylor was put in an induced coma for seven days at Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry and then put on full life support after suffering chest and spinal injuries.

Miss Nolan said: “Because we know a lot of people who do a lot of activities they have thought ‘that could have been me’. When you are running or cycling, you are so vulnerable.

“From the moment the police knocked on the door it is one of those classic stories, you think ‘it doesn’t happen to me’.”

Along with home care, the house will need adaptations including a lift, ramps and a bathroom adaptation. A specialist wheelchair alone will cost £13,000.

She said her partner has been turned down for NHS funding for continuing care and the family will apply to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for home help.

She said: “What has got me more cross is that there is such a failure to work in a joined up system.

“If you got all the stakeholders around the table you would realise if you did something like this they potentially could save costs in the future.”

Miss Nolan, who praised the hospitals, said: “Nothing is patient driven.

“All this rubbish you hear that the patient’s needs are paramount, the patient is not at the centre of their decision making process.”

She herself was at the Shropshire hospital after breaking her neck in a 1986 car accident aged 18 from which she made a full recovery.

Miss Nolan said: “I cried when I thought ‘how can this happen twice?’”

But she said her partner has been “very positive” and the August and September Paralympics had been a “huge positive influence” on the family.

The couple have been together for six years and live with four teenage children, two each from previous relationships.

She said: “We saw the people on the TV, they looked fit and happy and healthy and they looked as though life was good. You think it can be done.

“I said to quite a lot of people ‘if Andrew and I can’t do it I don’t know who can because we have the support of all the people around us’.”

A coffee morning will kick off fundraising at Knowle and Dorridge Cricket club from 11am to 1pm on Friday. People are encouraged to bring cake.

Organiser Sarah Connors said: “We just want to do what we can to help them.

“They just need as much support as they can get from friends and family to make it as smooth a transition as possible to try and get his quality of life as good as it can be.”

For information about the campaign email


  1. great cause - good luck with the fund raising.

    Bloody disgrace about the lack of funding and support. Solihull are USELESS at this stuff.

  2. Over £1000 raised! Brilliant work by the runnung club and a really fun/social event. Please support future events. Just Giving Page being set up,

  3. The article written in the "Solihull News" stated that Mr Nolan had been hit by a car. If this is correct why isn't the motorist's insurance company paying for the equipment and alterations to the house that Mr Nolan and his partner are currently trying to raise funds for. If the accident is a "non-stop" then the insurance companies do have a fund for innocent persons injured in these type of accidents. The injured person or their representatives do have to contact the fund themselves and although there is no guaranteed success it is worth trying. I find it quite amazing that Mr Nolan and his partner have to resort to coffee mornings to raise funds. If this case were tried in a personal injury court the compensation could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds as he is a relatively young man with a family who is probably unable to work again. I am a little concerned that Mr Nolan and his partner are unaware of the avenues open to them. I was injured in a cycling accident several years ago and during my stay in hospital I was visited by numerous personal injury solicitors touting for business.

    1. I have to agree, i dont see why people as "well off" as Mr Naylor and his partner should take advantage of the people's good nature and abuse the word "Charity". In my opinion, Mr Naylor is not a "Charity Case" and therefore seems to be desperate to hold onto his expensive lifestyle so much so, that this pathetic pair aren't admitting the fact that the accident could have possibly been Mr Naylor's Fault - hence the insurance company not coughing up! The last time i checked, Charity was for children deprived of food and clothing.

  4. Neither this article nor The Solihull News article makes any reference to insurance or compensation. Please do not make assumptions.

  5. Earlier in the year i was made aware of the accident and was shocked. A lovely gentleman and a lovely family. I have since moved away from knowle and would like to show my support, is there a just giving page?