Appeal launched to help blind Rowley Regis mum and family after devastating lightning strike (From Halesowen News)
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Appeal launched to help blind Rowley Regis mum and family after devastating lightning strike
10:53am Thursday 2nd August 2012 in News
THE heart-wrenching ordeal of a blind Rowley Regis mother and her children who lost everything when their home was struck by lightning has prompted an optician’s to launch an appeal.
Helena Hussey was rescued from the burning terrace by her sons David, and Johnathan - who suffers from the same eye condition - during the severe storm of June 26, while seven-year-old daughter Shannon was at school.
The lightning hit the fridge freezer socket, sparking a blaze that destroyed the kitchen and severely smoke damaged the rest of the house.
Her brave sons spotted the fire while sorting out the garden shed and raced to their mother’s bedroom where she was sleeping, after exhausting hospital visits following the birth of her eldest daughter’s baby two days earlier.
After rescuing her, they fought their way through thick smoke to save four-year-old bull mastiff Tia, Johnathan’s unofficial guide dog, who was cowering in his bedroom.
Since the blaze, the family has been staying at David’s one-bedroom flat in the town and hope to be able to move back into the Sandwell Council -owned property in Norman Terrace towards the end of the month.
Mrs Hussey, aged 45, said: “I haven’t really thought about me, I’m just devastated for the children. It’s horrible to go back because there’s nothing there.
“Shannon’s lost all her toys, her DVDs and karaoke machine, photos, posters, computer games and her favourite teddy. She said to me she’d no pretty clothes and shoes any more.”
She added: “It’s hard to think we have to start all over again, even down to the kettle and knives and forks - it’s all just gone.”
Their plight touched the hearts of Eyeland Optician’s dispensing manager Jenny Brown and receptionist Emma Pritchard, who sorted Mrs Hussey out with a free pair of glasses and have launched an appeal for people to help the family.
Miss Brown said: “We feel sorry for them as it is because of the vision problems they face, without this happening to them. We wanted to do something to help.”
“We’ve known Mrs Hussey as a patient for some time and could see how heart broken she was, more for the children really.”
The optician staff contacted the News and have also launched the appeal on Eyeland’s Facebook page.
Donations such as small household items, toys and games can be dropped off at their Blackheath High Street, premises and arrangements for delivery of large items can be made by ringing Miss Brown or Mrs Pritchard on 0121 559 1054.
Mrs Hussey said: “They have been so kind at the optician’s - I didn’t know where to get help and they said they would try to get me some.”
The charity Loaves ‘n’ Fishes has also offered a bed and a wardrobe.