THE family of an electrician struck down with devastating locked in syndrome which left him totally paralysed are marking five years since he came home from hospital and raising funds for specialist machinery to help him recover movement.

Steve Walsh from Leeming Bar, near Bedale was just 50 when he suffered the catastrophic stroke which changed his life. Doctors managed to save his life but he was paralysed and unable to talk. After 18 months in hospital he returned home to his family, wife Michaela and two sons. Five years on Michaela says it has been a nightmare but they get on with it and have been overwhelmed by the help and support they have had.

A special pedal machine which helps Steve move his arms and legs has helped build up his body and they are keen to raise money to carry on using it and potentially buy one.

"The machine does his arms for a couple of hours and his legs for 90 minutes, it encourages his body to do it himself and he can do that with his legs. It has done a lot of good, his body is stronger and he has more control. Steve does really well he has his down days but since we got the pedal machine he seems a lot more uplifted he is in good humour he is very much himself he has got his cheeky personality back. The whole thing has been a nightmare, and in many ways it doesn't get any easier, we have two carers and Steve needs round the clock care but we get there. It is difficult and there are a lot of problems but it is what we have been dealt with. Sometimes I cry, but I love him, we love each other and he is better for being at home.

"The machine has made such a difference, he gets on it every day, it gives him a purpose and helps a lot."

The Halcyon Trust was set up by supporters to help raise funds for physiotherapy and equipment for Steve and over the past five years thousands has been raised. Now they're hoping to raise money to help buy a pedal machine to avoid the ongoing running costs. A cycle ride to Tanhill is being held tomorrow, September 21 and on Sunday September 29 local runners are holding an open fun run in Bedale Hall which Steve is due to set off. Anyone who would like to enter contact or

* BEDALE Sports Club held a successful charity bingo evening last Friday with 92 guests raising £1,005 to help Steve with physio needs.

Caller Pete Durrans entertained the audience and a supper of pies and peas was donated by Mark Gatenby of the VOM Ltd and Stephen Hall of Hall’s Fish and Chips.