Readers’ cash boost for Queensbury lung disease sufferer Holly

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Holly May Humphrey with the vest Holly May Humphrey with the vest

Big-hearted readers of the Telegraph & Argus have rallied round to help a 20-year-old lung disease sufferer desperate for help.

After seeing the story about brave Holly May Humphrey, well-wishers came forward to help her buy a £7,000 ‘vest’ which helps her to breathe.

One Baildon businessman – who wants to remain anonymous – has offered to bridge whatever gap remains after other donations have been made. This guarantees the 20-year-old’s purchase of the vest, which is not funded on the NHS.

Earlier, a Bradford councillor pledged £1,000 to the appeal to buy the life-changing equipment.

And news of the kindness left Holly lost for words. “Wow!,” she said. “I am virtually speechless at how kind people have been.”

She said a few people had offered small amounts of money and someone offered to hire a venue to stage a fundraising event. “It’s amazing,” said Holly, who lives in Queensbury and suffers from a chronic lung disease which has left her unable to work and often wheelchair-bound.

The Vest Airway Clearance System creates chest movements which shift mucous around the lungs, helping the sufferer to breathe. Two years ago, Holly – who is also a brittle asthmatic – was given the equipment by makers Hill-Rom with a view to eventual purchase. But she could not afford the monthly fees and there was a risk the Vest might have to be reclaimed if £1,400 was not paid.

An appeal was set up, but only attracted about £700. Calling for help, Holly’s friend Michele Cavallin said: “We are in despair.”

Before her condition worsened, Holly had been a university student, a Taekwondo fan and a carer at a Halifax nursing home.

“I just want to live independently like any 20-year-old,” she said. “The vest has really helped me. Since using it, I have only had pneumonia twice.”

The businessman said: “I am willing to make up the cost of the vest from whatever else is raised. I want the appeal to draw as much as possible from other sources as I feel that is good for community spirit.”

Councillor Paul Cromie (Ind, Queensbury) is to give £1,000 to Holly’s appeal. He said: “My manifesto is to donate my allowances from the Council to the community. I have done this since I was elected in 2006. I am always on the lookout for good causes.

“I have about £1,000 left in the kitty and when I saw Holly’s story in the T&A I thought: what a good way to spend the last amount.

News of the businessman’s offer came on a bad morning for her health-wise. She said: “I had not been feeling too well but this has made my day.”

Comments (1)

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3:55pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

Well done Councillor Paul Cromie for donating your allowance for a good cause like this. I hope that maybe you can help Holly further by pointing her in the right direction to obtain some sort of benefit for being so ill. The rest of the council sitting on £99 million take note!
Well done Councillor Paul Cromie for donating your allowance for a good cause like this. I hope that maybe you can help Holly further by pointing her in the right direction to obtain some sort of benefit for being so ill. The rest of the council sitting on £99 million take note! Yorkshire Lass
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