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Mick mobile again thanks to charity.

Byline: Andrew Hiras ,

Grateful Mick Ward wants to thanks everyone who helped buy him an electric wheelchair after his horrific diving accident REMOTE A map showing the Farne Islands, off Northum- berland, and, right, a view of Inner Farne, part of the group

A FORMER Huddersfield man who lost a leg in an horrific diving accident has bought an electric wheelchair with some of the money raised in his home town.

Father-of-two Mick Ward, 39, lost his left leg below the knee and his right one was badly damaged when he was hit by a boat's propeller while diving near the Farne Islands off Northumberland on August 13 last year.

He used to live in Dalton and now lives in Loughborough, Leicestershire, with wife, Maria, and children Oliver, 13, and Tamsyn, 11.

Mick's parents, Thomas and Shirley, live in Kirkheaton and he has three other brothers and three sisters who still live in the town.

The family organised the fundraising evening in Huddersfield just before Christmas.

The event at St Patrick's Centre on Trinity Street raised pounds 5,000 and featured singer Craig Morgan, band The Goodfellows, a raffle, auction and disco.

Members of Huddersfield Nomad Diving Club also gave pounds 500 from a Bonfire Night barbecue to the appeal.

Mick's sister, Caren, said: "It was a wonderful evening and a fantastic amount of money was raised towards equipment Mick will need.

"I would just like to thank St Patrick's Centre, the entertainers and everyone who donated raffle and auction prizes along with all those who gave so generously on the night."

Mick, an experienced diver, was an assistant instructor and a member of a diving club near his home.

He had just completed a dive when disaster struck.

The dive boat was in danger of being swept on to rocks, so the captain made the split-second decision to start the engines and reverse out of danger.

Unfortunately the boat reversed over Mick and he was caught by the propeller.

His life was saved by a doctor on another boat who gave vital first aid.

Mick worked in the building trade as a groundworker before the accident.

Another fundraising event is being held in Loughborough on Saturday.

Mick has had several operations on his badly damaged right leg and hopes to stand for the first time next month.

Mick said he could so easily have died in the accident so he now regards every day as a bonus.

He said: "It takes me three or four times as long to do anything, but you adapt to things. I would just like to thank everybody for what they have done for me."

His wife, Maria, added: "It's fantastic that people have rallied round like they have.

"Mick is coping really well. He has got a very positive attitude and has been strong through it all which has given me and the children strength."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2006
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