Fundraising campaign underway to bring David Stephen home to UK

Published on: 11th May 2018

David’s friends are raising funds after a series of bad falls have left him in a Michigan nursing home. 

An official statement provided by Robert Hookway reads: “We’re raising £30,000 to help get David back to England.

We are appealing to you on behalf of our friend and toy trade colleague, David Stephen. Some of you may remember David well and some only vaguely. David worked for many years in the UK toy industry and in his later years moved to the United States to take up a job for a US toy company.

As some of you may know David Stephen was paralysed by a spinal cord injury after a bad fall in 2017 which has left him tetraplegic. Here’s his story and why we would really appreciate any contribution you can give that would allow him to come home:

Just over two years ago walking became difficult for David and he developed a limp. He was understandably concerned and visited the doctors to be first diagnosed with shingles and then, in a following visit, with Lyme disease. Both of these were misdiagnoses. As a result of his reduced movement David suffered a very bad fall, fracturing his spine. He was rushed to hospital to an intensive care unit where doctors finally discovered that David’s declining mobility was caused by cervical stenosis (a narrowing of the spaces in the spine that can put pressure on the spinal cord). When his condition had stabilised David moved into his sister’s adapted home in Michigan. It was at his sister’s home in January 2017, that David was hospitalised by another particularly bad, awkward fall that further damaged his spinal cord and left him with no use of his legs and partial paralysis of his upper body. With little ability to move his arms and only partial function in a single hand David’s sister could not provide the level of care David needed so he is currently still in a Michigan nursing home.

This is where we are asking for help. Having been born and lived in the UK for the majority of his life most of David’s friends and family are in England so he desperately wishes to return to be close to them. His medical insurance in the US has also run out making it impossible to stay there and receive care, so we are looking to help get him back to a care home in Shropshire in England. Being tetraplegic David can only fly home with assistance and on top of the costs of his flight he will need to pay for a nurse/carer to accompany him the entire way. On top of that is the cost of the care home for three months (which needs to be paid to secure a bed) and the cost of specialist medical transport from the airport.

In view of his current circumstances and the fact that David is not financially ‘well off’ we are trying to raise sufficient funds to bring David back home where we have found a care home that can provide specialist care for people with spinal injuries. This would mean that David could receive care currently unavailable to him, as well as receive regular visits from friends and family.

It is impossible for David to finance everything alone and so that is why we are asking for people to contribute what they can, to give our friend a helping hand to come home.

Every single donation is appreciated. Thank you for any help you can give.

David’s friends.”

You can read more information about this campaign and David’s situation and make your donation on his Just Giving page:

Alternatively you can donate directly to David’s fund at the charity. If you wish to do so please contact Robert for the banking details on


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