Harrogate father’s print sale in memory of step-daughter

St. Peter's photo exhibition for Martin House. The Mayor of Harrogate Cllr. Jim Clark, The Mayoress of Harrogate Cllr. Shirley Fawcett and photographer Steve Martin.(140905AM1)

St. Peter's photo exhibition for Martin House. The Mayor of Harrogate Cllr. Jim Clark, The Mayoress of Harrogate Cllr. Shirley Fawcett and photographer Steve Martin.(140905AM1)

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A devoted father has organised a photographic print sale in memory of his step-daughter.

Emily Lewin died at Martin House Children’s Hospice on April 13 2013, at the age of 23, after being born with a muscular disease.

Her step-father, Steve Martin, is now hoping to raise more than £2000 for Martin House by selling a variety of his, and other photographers’ prints at St Peter’s Church, Harrogate.

Mr Martin said the exhibition is already proving popular and is hopeful of making a good contribution to a worthy cause close to his heart.

He said: “Emily had been in the hospice three to five days at a time, three or four times a year. The level of care she received was excellent.

“In the last six months of her life that specialist care became much more relevant and, after she deteriorated, we took her to the hospice in the ambulance to have her stabi

ised. They told us we might be there for several months but in the end she was only there for a few days before she sadly passed away.

“The support for her and to us was brilliant. They don’t just look after the child when they’re sick, they look after the whole family as well.”

Emily was only diagnosed with the muscular disease, Friedeich’s ataxia, by doctors after her mother noticed she was regularly losing her balance as a child.

After being fitted with a splint on her leg, Emily was then restricted to using a wheelchair at the age of 12 with the disease slowly affecting her limbs and then her speech.

Her step-father is now intent on raising money for the hospice and her GP, Dr Mike Miller, who provided specialist care for Emily and is retiring this year.

Steve said: “It costs just under £5million for the hospice to operate. They get a very small amount from the NHS so the majority of the operational costs come from fundraising.

“Emily loved Martin House and always felt very safe there. We all really appreciated what they did for her and are hoping to give something back for their care.”

Steve, who became interested in photography during his early teenage years, has been joined by six other photographers selling their prints at St Peter’s Church in Harrogate and the exhibition will run from September 8-21.

The photographers are selling a range of different prints including landscapes, wildlife and local attractions including the Stray bonfire, Fountains Abbey and the Knaresborough viaducts.