Ramp offer brings relief to family of tetraplegic

By Sam Hurley

Offers to build an access ramp for a local tetraplegic girl have left her mother overwhelmed after the family has spent the last six months fighting for funding and compensation to help her.

Last year, Julia Paterson's parents were faced with the decision of turning their 13-year-old's life support off after she fell from a Tamatea park playground.

Initially, she had a sore back but a few days later, she would be paralysed and fighting for her life in Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital. Her story was detailed in Hawke's Bay Today at the weekend.

MPT Concrete Services Ltd manager Mike Teddy has since come forward and offered to help "put something together for the family" after Julia had been "dealt a bad card".

Julia's mother, Memory Paterson said she was overwhelmed and lost for words after hearing Mr Teddy had offered to help them.

"It so great that someone would want to help us," she said.

"I don't know what to say, I would just like to thank him - we are still in the hospital at the moment and don't know how long for but this is great news."

Six months ago, Julia returned home from Starship but continues to suffer from respiratory and other medical complications.

The family has spent that time applying for ACC and funding for ramp access to be built at their home.

Her parents, Alex and Memory told Hawke's Bay Today last week they believed their daughter would still be walking had she received the "right tests" at Hawke's Bay Hospital immediately following her injury.

A Hawke's Bay District Health Board spokesperson said the board was unaware of the complaint but would now look into the issue.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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