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Songs of praise for hospital’s spine unit
A choir is putting its full voice behind a spinal injuries unit working to help an Ilkley man paralysed from the neck down.
Former Steeton Male Voice Choir librarian Gordon Sugden was seriously injured two days after Christmas when a taxi he was travelling in was involved in an accident in London.
Mr Sugden, 82, of Ben Rhydding, spent months in specialist care at St George’s Hospital in the capital and the Royal National Ortho-paedic Hospital, Middlesex, before being moved north.
Thanks to an extensive range of care and therapy from the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, it is hoped Mr Sugden will eventually be able to return to life in Ilkley, although he will require around-the-clock care.
Friends from the choir have been able to visit Mr Sugden. They say he remem-bers his music repertoire well and is often heard singing to keep his spirits up.
The choir is staging a special concert at Holy Trinity Church in Skipton at 7pm on Saturday. With the blessing of Mr Sugden and his family, proceeds will go to help the spinal injuries centre caring for him.
His wife, Margaret, makes the journey to Sheffield to see him every day, and his son, Mark, who lives in Surrey, spends several days a week in Yorkshire to be with him.
Mark Sugden said: “He is very, very positive – all of the family are going to make the best of it.”
He keeps his father up to date with cricket and rugby league results. The 64-patient Sheffield unit provides many services, including ventilator support beds, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Patients can learn to use chin-operated power wheelchairs, and activities such as mouth painting.
Speech therapy has enabled Mr Sugden to exercise throat muscles, allowing him to eat solid foods once more.
Admission to the concert is £7, tickets available from (01274) 598221, or Philips of Skipton, 28 Newmarket Street, Skipton.