A Lisburn martial arts club has raised more than £4,000 to help a teenage girl left paralysed after a road accident last year.
Then 16-year-old Anastassiya, whose stepfather Paul Phillips later argued the young woman had been denied basic human rights in respect of ongoing needs, suffered critical injuries in a one-vehicle accident at Magheraknock Road, Ballynahinch on Mothers’ Day 2015.
Anastassiya was paralysed from the breastbone down, but her family believes she can walk again and has set about raising £55,000 to send her to the USA for pioneering stem-cell treatment.
Adding to the fund recently was Lisburn Taekwondo, whose members staged a charity hike up Slieve Donard.
Anastassiya’s cause is close to the heart of the club’s chief instructor, Master Peter Stewart, one of the local firefighters who rescued her from an overturned car.
The two were to meet again after Anastassiya’s father contacted Peter about her younger brother Andre joining taekwondo and the firefighter made the connection between the family’s circumstances and the accident scene he had attended.
More than 70 people took part in the taekwondo club’s hike, raising some £4,479, with more money donated via Anastassiya’s Recovery gofundme page.
Said Peter: “I have been a firefighter for the past 21 years and to be in a position within the club to help Anastassiya on her road to recovery was a great feeling.
“To have met the family through taekwondo and keep up to date with Anastassiya’s progress is amazing.”
Anastassiya said: “I just want everyone, especially Peter, to know how much this money will help me in my journey to recovery and I’m so humbled by everyone’s generosity and support. Thank you so much guys.” Anyone who wishes to donate to Anastassiya’s recovery fund should go to https://www.gofundme.com/k73sux3s.