AN appeal to raise $40,000 to help a quadriplegic West Albury father move around in his own car is being launched.
Ross Bowling was left unable to move his body from the neck down after toppling over in a swimming pool last year and has been restricted to occasional taxi trips since returning home after spending 18 months in hospitals in Melbourne and Albury.
He needs a vehicle which has a hoist at the rear to allow him to be lifted into position for travel.
Albury-Wodonga McDonald’s restaurant franchisee Maree Cables learnt of Mr Bowling’s plight through a social worker at Albury hospital and was convinced he needed help after meeting him and his family early last month.
“It’s just such a tragic accident that could happen to any of us at any time,” Mrs Cables said.
“When someone is down and times are tough you’ve got to help them.
“You can see it will do a lot of good for the family, it’s something they need, it’s essential they have it.
“He was a career person, he was a supervisor with a building company, he wasn’t someone that was not contributing to society and the community.”
Mrs Cables is aiming to raise $40,000 for the vehicle in four weeks by selling “helping hands” for $2 at McDonald’s restaurants across Albury-Wodonga and Corowa.
It is hoped hundreds of hands will decorate the windows of the stores to reflect support for Mr Bowling.
Donations can also be made via the WAW Credit Union where a Ross Bowling Appeal account has been set up.
To make a deposit, use BSB 803 070 and account number 85880.
The appeal is being promoted through commercial radio stations 2AY, Star FM and The River and tallies will be announced as the appeal unfolds.
Mrs Cables is hopeful that Mr Bowling can have his own transport by the end of the year.
“We would love for him to have a car before Christmas, so he can get around,” Mrs Cables said.
Mr Bowling has welcomed the help and says he would enjoy the opportunity to have some more independence.
“It would be just so much appreciated if we could get it, so we could travel around as a family,” Mr Bowling said.