Tom Church Foundation Charity Winter Ball, Kilhey Court, Standish

Tom Church (centre) with some of his friends (L-R); Ben Lundergan, Jemma Dobson, Lauren Carr, Holl

Tom Church (centre) with some of his friends (L-R); Ben Lundergan, Jemma Dobson, Lauren Carr, Holly Dobson and Mike Jones - Credit: Archant

Tom Church had everything to live for - a job training to be an electrician, a place in the local cricket and football teams and his 18th birthday to celebrate. Then, a year ago, his world collapsed when his car skidded on black ice and crashed. He suffered severe injuries which resulted in his leg being amputated. Tom, who lives in Parbold and played for Newburgh Cricket Club, was fitted with a prosthetic leg by the NHS but this wasn’t going to get him back on the sports field.

Then, he heard about the Genium leg, an intelligent bionic prosthetic which anticipates the user’s movements and creates natural multi-directional twists and turns.

It would allow him to return to sport, run and even climb the stairs with relative ease. The bad news was that each leg costs £45,500. However, with the support of family and friends he set up the Tom Church Foundation, which is designed not only to help Tom raise the money for a new leg but also help others back into sport after serious injuries.

Family friends Lindsay and Tony Carr organised a winter ball at Kilhey Court, Standish, and raised more than £21,000 with support from local companies and sporting heroes like Jamie Carragher, who donated a signed shirt. This, added to the money raised at a host of other fundraising events such as car washes, means that Tom has now taken possession of his new leg. ‘This will give me my life back,’ he said. And he can now run upsatirs.

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