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Trevor goes to Zurich for stem cell treatment


Trevor LeckeyWELL known local businessman 'Trevor Leckey is getting ready for what could be the most important journey of his life when he travels to Zurich next month for stem cell treatment which he is hoping will give him back the use of his legs.

Trevor, who owns Stoneyford  Concrete, was paralysed in a horrific motorcycling accident in 2006.

He was competing in a circuit race in Aghadowey when a suspected mechanical failure caused him to lose control of his bike and crash into a metal pole, severing his spine and leaving him unconscious for almost two months in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Despite undergoing physiotherapy at Musgrave Park Hospital, Trevor never regained the use of his legs but he has never lost his determination to do everything he could to walk again.

Trevor is in terrible pain 24 hours a day and has to take morphine to deal with the agony. "I try to make it out to the garden to scream in pain at night so that I don't wake the children," he said.

Trevor will travel to Zurich in February for five days of treatment at the X-Cell Center. He will then have to wait for three months for the therapy to pass through his system before flying to Fort Lauderdale in the United States for intensive physiotherapy.

His ambition is to leave his wheelchair behind and be able to walk again, albeit with the help of crutches.

"My goal is to get onto a pair of crutches," he added.

Trevor is the first person from the UK to travel to the Zurich clinic. It is approved by the American FDA which regulates medical devices and drugs.

A BBC camera crew will follow him on his journey and Trevor is hoping for a successful outcome which will be an encouragement to other people who become paralysed.

"Since the accident I have done nothing else but look into stem cell research," explained Trevor. "I still don't know a lot about it but I employed a doctor to look at all the stem cell research centres around the world and pick the best one. He chose the X-Cell Center in Zurich.

"Stem cell research has had a lot of bad press but this centre does work. 63% of patients have had the control of their bowels and bladder return to normal and nearly 10% of people who then go to Fort Lauderdale for physiotherapy are able to walk again with the help of walking aids."

Since his accident in 2006 Trevor has been working to help other people in Northern Ireland who have been paralysed as a result of breaking their back. He visits patients at Musgrave Park Hospital, raised £92,000 for the hospital during a fundraiser at the Ramada Hotel, and has produced a DVD to show him still hard at work at Stoneyford Concrete despite his injury.

He shows the DVD to patients and families to let them see they can still work even after suffering such horrific injuries. He has also retaken his HGV licence test so that he can drive lorries again and has not been letting his disability hold him back.

He is also still raising money for Musgrave Park Hospital and has recently produced a children's DVD, some of the proceeds of which will go to the hospital. "We will be launching a new DVD for kids shortly entitled `The Story of Concrete'," explained Trevor. "It has bright animation on the cover and shows our yard and tells how concrete is made.

"Anyone who has seen it thinks it is really good. We will be selling it for £7.99 and proceeds will go to the hospital. We are hoping it will be available in local shops but anyone who would like a copy can contact Stoneyford Concrete on 9264 8600 and we will post a copy out."

The Star will be following Trevor during the coming months as he travels to Zurich and the United States to embark on this groundbreaking treatment.

Ulster Star