Centre that restored Katie's life get funds

Friday 30th June 2017 2:10 pm

Katie Holmes with Rob Brew

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A year ago Katie Holmes had a car accident so severe it nearly ended the then 20-year-old’s life.

But this month saw her cheering on family members Rob Brew and Jeff Woodworth taking part in the Parish Walk to raise funds for the Walton Centre in Liverpool.

This was the obvious beneficiary, as it is no exaggeration to say that the centre, which recently achieved an ’outstanding’ rating from the CQC (Care Quality Commission), has restored Katie’s life.

Katie appealed for donations on Facebook and wrote: ’The fact that I can even write this message just goes to show how much progress I’ve made! I know that I’m the one who has to put in the work, but this hospital gives the most amazing guidance and support.’

She doesn’t remember the accident. ’My brain has shut it out,’ she said.

One evening last summer, she was driving along the Shore Road in Rushen when her car skidded out of control on spilled fuel. It clipped the kerb and veered across the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle. She was taken to Liverpool by air ambulance.

Katie’s injuries included a fractured skull and a severely bruised lung.

’Apparently I was kept in an induced coma for almost two weeks,’ she said. ’I have no recollection of the first two months spent in hospital, and it was only when the decision was made to remove the naso-gastric tube that I smiled and attempted to speak for the first time. I was able to whisper "hello",’to my mum.

’The Walton Centre staff looked after me very well. Mum told me they braided my hair and played songs from my favourite band at my bedside, although I don’t remember any of this.

’These human touches are so important to patients and their relatives.

’More recently I have participated in fundraising activities at the hospital. I’ve acted as a marshal on a charity hike, meeting many staff and former patients, and was even invited to judge the Walton Centre staff ’bake-off’.’

The centre staff also look after the patients’ relatives, particularly those from further afield, like the island.

From the minute they arrive, their needs are catered for as well - the ward staff already have accommodation arranged for them in the ’home from home’, a facility recently built by funding from the Walton Centre Charity.

It is hoped that Katie will be discharged from hospital in the next few weeks to continue physio and occupational therapy on her return to the island.

The talented singer and actress, who shone in productions at the Erin Arts Centre, Castle Rushen High School and the Gaiety Theatre, as well as the Guild, hopes to continue to pursue her studies in this field at university.

’I’m looking forward to studying something I love,’ she said. ’I’m a stronger person since the accident, and my mum and I have developed a special relationship.’

’The Walton Centre Charity is such a worthy cause. I want them to be able to do for others what they have done for me. Most of my memories of the hospital are good ones.

’Thinking about it, I will miss that place - I made a lot of friends there, including other patients from the Isle of Man, some of whom are still there.

’I would like to visit schools, universities and workplaces to share my experiences. I want to let people know that if they really want to do something, they can make it happen. Being positive has helped me. It’s the power of the mind - it’s insane!’

To contribute to Katie’s Walton Centre Charity Parish Walk collection, visit www.justgiving.com and search ’Rob Brew’.

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