Fundraising festival to get Sophie home UNI LECTURER PARALYSED BY BRAIN DISEASE
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://neuaddogwen.com/en/ events/draig-beats.