Bel’s dreams of returning home

Bel Young, 9, from Harrogate with her mum Vanessa and builder Steve Brown who is running the Leeds Half Marathon to raise money to help convert their home to make it more accessible.

Bel Young, 9, from Harrogate with her mum Vanessa and builder Steve Brown who is running the Leeds Half Marathon to raise money to help convert their home to make it more accessible.

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Bel has to breathe through a special tube after she fell off a friend’s climbing frame and broke her neck in a freak accident that left her paralysed from the neck down in June.

The nine-year-old from Harrogate was so severely injured that she was unable to breathe and her distraught mum, Vanessa, had to resuscitate her to keep her alive while waiting for paramedics.

Miraculously, Bel pulled through and now she spends five days a week living in Leeds General Infirmary.

She visits her Harrogate home at weekends but the family yearn for the day the youngster can remain at home.

Mum Vanessa, 41, said: “It is just heartbreaking. It is just news that no parent ever wants to hear.

“We are all just longing for a time when Bel can be at home with us.

“The family has been split and it is so difficult to have Bel in hospital and her younger brother Harry at home.

“When we get Bel home full-time it will be so lovely to be together as a family again.”

Bel has to undergo intense physiotherapy and spends at least an hour a day without her tube to try to breathe again on her own.

Vanessa and husband Simon, 43, are currently making changes to their home so that Bel can stay at home for good.

Mrs Young said: “We never say never. Doctors can be wrong but hopefully with the right physiotherapy she can walk again. We just don’t know what medical advances are just around the corner.”

Builder Steve Brown, 34, from Pudsey, is renovating their home and was so touched by their plight he has decided to run the Leeds Half Marathon on May 8 to raise money for Bel.

He said: “Being a parent it is just one of those things that makes you realise that you can’t take things for granted.”

The Young family have also set up the Being Bel Trust.

Bel added: “I wish I could come home more often. If I had two wishes my first one would be to walk again and the second one would be when I grow up to 18 I don’t want to get any older.”

To find out more about Bel’s Trust, send an email to nessyoung@live.com or call Rebecca Scott on 07796 695666.

A donation box is available in Harrogate’s branch of Dacre, Son & Hartley.