by JENNY MONROE
An artist's impression of the proposed nursing home.
A LISBURN business man who was left paralysed following a horrific motorcycling accident has submitted plans to build a nursing home specifically for people with the brain illness dementia.
Trevor Leckey, who owns Stoneyford Concrete, decided he had to do something after watching a documentary about the way people with Alzheimer's and dementia were being treated in homes in America. He said he suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to help and this is when he came up with the idea of building a nursing home on his land at the he city.
"I was watching a programme and couldn't believe the way these people were being treated - it was shocking. From then I have been determined to do something," explained Trevor. "I've applied for planning permission to build a four level nursing home with 75 bedrooms," he added.
The project, which is expected to cost in the region of £4.5 million, is a huge challenge for the father of five but he says he has the support of his family. Trevor said: 'There is a serious need for a facility like this and if it was someone I knew who had dementia I would want them to go somewhere like this."
Trevor Leckey with his father Brenden Leckey (left) and Alderman James Dillon (right) at the proposed site for a new nursing home at the Causeway End Road.
Trevor was competing in a circuit race in Aghadowey when he lost control of his bike and crashed 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. Despite his injuries and the pain he endures each day, Trevor is determined to not let his personal battles get in the way of his dream.
I'm passionate about this and I have the site sitting there so I might as well put it to good use. I have spent a year researching this and I know there is a demand for it. Some people have to travel miles to see loved ones with dementia so having this on their doorstep would make so much of a difference."
Alderman Jim Dillon has-welcomed the nursing home plans. He said: "I fully support this planning application" he said. "It will be a first class five star nursing home which will take people from all sectors of the community and is exactly what we need.
"I hope the planners will look on this application sympathetically."