£20,000 campaign launched to help Ripon boy walk again
Jan 15, 2024
Alan Nowicki in the hospital

A Ripon family is trying to raise £20,000 to help their 15-year-old son walk again.

On December 9, Ripon Grammar School student Alan Nowicki had a life-changing accident that left him paralysed from the waist down.

The accident happened in his bedroom at home when he fell from a pull-up bar. The bar fell from the door frame, and as Alan fell with it, he landed and hit his head on the hard floor.

His mum Kamila said:

“There was no warning, he couldn’t protect himself.”

She found him on the floor after the fall and he immediately told her he couldn’t feel his legs.

Kamila called an ambulance, but it took almost two hours for Alan to be taken to Leeds General Infirmary.

When they arrived at the hospital emergency surgeons were waiting for him, and he had CT and MRI scans. At 3am he was rushed to surgery to relieve some of the pressure on his spinal cord.

He suffered a spinal fracture with dislocation at T10-11 level resulting in a severe spinal cord injury.

Alan left Leeds General Infirmary 11 days later and was transferred to Wakefield Pinderfields Hospital.

Kamila said:

“We are just taking it day-by-day. We are grateful he is in no pain and there have been no complications, but we still don’t know what’s round the corner. We hope he can walk again but we don’t know, no one knows at this stage. It is pretty tough and it is always in the back of your head.”

When Alan arrived at Wakefield, Kamila was told his care plan would involve an hour of manual physiotherapy four times a week.

She sought a second opinion from a doctor who told her the first three months are the most important for a case like Alan’s because it is when the most intensive rehabilitation should be happening.

Since then, she has been set on transferring Alan to a specialist private rehabilitation centre. When trying to find treatment she approached private UK centres which quoted her a care package of up to £10,000 a week.

Realising the care he needed was out of their budget, Kamila decided to approach a centre in her native Poland. Donum Corde is a technology centre offering hydro and electro therapy where Alan can start intensive rehabilitation as soon as possible.

Kamila said:

“I couldn’t sleep knowing there is something we could be doing and weren’t trying our best to do it. If we never give him the chance, I would never forgive myself.”

Alan’s main goal is to be back at school sitting his GCSEs as normal with his classmates at Ripon Grammar School, so he can achieve his dream of becoming a Royal Air Force pilot. His teachers have visited him in hospital, given him mock exam papers and call home weekly to check in.

She said:

“He keeps saying he will be walking soon he is so motivated. He is handling it amazingly, he never complains and takes everything as it comes, I am gobsmacked with how he is coping. I hope he will continue this, it is good for all of us, I would hate to see him struggle any more than he is.”

If they have sufficient funds Kamila hopes to be able to fly out to Poland this weekend on an accessible flight from Manchester and begin Alan’s rehabilitation on Monday.

She urges anyone considering donating to

“Just give him a chance. If not to walk again just a chance to achieve the best outcome, even if it’s a partial recover we just want to keep him healthy.”

To find out more and donate to the cause click here.

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