Fundrais­ing fes­ti­val to get So­phie home UNI LEC­TURER PARAL­YSED BY BRAIN DIS­EASE

Bangor Mail - - NEWS - Tom Mol­loy Dr So­phie Wil­liams, the for­mer Ban­gor Univer­sity lec­turer, who has Ja­panese En­cephali­tis and is paral­ysed from the waist up

FRIENDS of a Ban­gor Univer­sity lec­turer, left par­tially paral­ysed by a rare brain in­fec­tion, have ar­ranged a fes­ti­val to raise money for her.

Dr So­phie Wil­liams, 33, was struck by Ja­panese En­cephali­tis dur­ing a re­search trip to China in July 2015.

Af­ter spend­ing the past cou­ple of years in care homes across Eng­land, she re­cently moved back to Wales to stay at Hafod y Green, in Tref­nant.

It is ex­pected Dr Wil­liams will stay there un­til her home in Sling, Bethesda, is adapted for her.

The home needs to be ex­tended to in­clude two spe­cialised shower rooms and an ex­tra bed­room for her 24-hour car­ers.

It also needs to be­come wheel­chair friendly, with a num­ber of ramps in­stalled.

To help raise money for the home im­prove­ments, friends and col­leagues of Dr Wil­liams have ar­ranged Draig Beats - a mu­sic fes­ti­val at Tre­borth Botanic Gar­den on Satur­day, June 9. Dr Wil­liams will at­tend the event. The all-day fes­ti­val will be head­lined by Sene­galese mu­si­cian Seckou Keita, one of Dr Wil­liams’ favourite artists and some­body who has vis­ited her, dur­ingE- her re­cov­ery. Upon hear­ing he would be head­lin­ing, Dr Wil­liams said: “Amaz­ing! I re­mem­ber him play­ing for me at the hospi­tal“.

Per­for­mances from lo­cal acts in­clude Drym­bago, a band Dr Wil­liams used to be a mem­ber of.

All acts have agreed to play for free with all pro­ceeds go­ing to The So­phie Wil­liams Trust.

Her part­ner, Robert An­newandter, said: “Draig Beats is not only to sup­port So­phie in our aim to get her home. It also brings com­mu­ni­ties to­gether, very much in So­phie’s spirit”.

Dr Wil­liams’ dad, Mike Wil­liams, said his daugh­ter is in very high spir­its.

“She’s very pos­i­tive, she al­ways has been and she’s got a wicked sense of hu­mour which is quite re­mark­able con­sid­er­ing what’s hap­pened to her,” he said.

“There is no cure for Ja­panese En­cephali­tis but she’s as­tounded medics be­cause they didn’t give her much chance.

“She has some move­ment in her fin­gers and she’s no longer tube-fed.

“She’ll al­ways need care but she’s ex­ceeded all expectations.

“The money from the fes­ti­val is all go­ing to­wards So­phie as well, so the more peo­ple that can come, the bet­ter.”

Tick­ets for Draig Beats cost £10 for chil­dren aged be­twee 12-17 and £20 for adults – young­sters un­der 12 may at­tend for free.

A fam­ily ticket for two adults and two chil­dren costs £50.

Tick­ets and more in­for­ma­tion avail­able at: http://neuad­dog­ events/draig-beats.

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