Paralysed former charity boss Marion Blower has been given the all clear to leave hospital and return to Sudbury.
Mrs Blower, who worked as manager of Sudbury Resource Centre for 17 years, broke her neck falling down a flight of stairs at her home in Boxford last March and has spent more than 12 months on a specialist spinal injuries unit at Sheffield Hospital.
Doctors have now said she is well enough to leave hospital and a bungalow in Cats Lane, Sudbury, is ready for her to move into.
“I cannot wait to get home,” said Mrs Blower. “It could still be a few weeks as I need carers in place before I can go, but it is good news.”
An appeal, supported by the Free Press, helped raise £8,600 for an electric wheelchair to improve Mrs Blower’s independence.
Last week, a further £2,000 was donated to the cause from Sudbury Fun Run, with the same amount also being handed over to The Bridge Project and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Mrs Blower said she had been overwhelmed by the community’s response to the appeal.
“I have always said Sudbury is such a generous town and, from events in the past, people have always wanted to get involved,” she said.
“There is a massive community spirit and, after being on the other side of fundraising for many years, I have been very humbled. It has been unbelievable.”
To help her breathing once out of hospital, Mrs Blower, who at one stage during her recovery was placed in an induced coma after she stopped breathing, will be placed on a ventilator throughout the night. The recruitment of a carer, who will be trained to meet her needs, is due to take place.
“It will be very different and a bit scary not having doctors around,” said Mrs Blower. “I have no idea where to begin thanking people.”
Her daughter, Mandy Branch, from Waldingfield Road, Acton, said Mrs Blower was returning to her old self.
“She seems like mum again and is much stronger,” she said. “I cannot wait to have her back.”