Community rallying round for ‘vital’ vest fundraising

Fundraising is underway to buy a life-changing vest for Dean Sawyer
Fundraising is underway to buy a life-changing vest for Dean Sawyer

Fundraising is in full swing to buy a £8,000 life-changing vest for a man who has to take up to 40 tablets a day in his battle against a debilitating disease.

Dean Sawyer, 21, was born with Cystic Fibrosis - a serious genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system - was admitted to hospital 15 times last year and has already spent time recovering there this year.

“My daily routine is based around taking medication and my condition has deteriorated in the past 14 months,” said Dean.

Now, with the help of Dean’s auntie Helen Thorpe he hopes to be able to get a physio vest that will improve his condition and eventually allow him to have a much needed lung transplant.

“The vest will basically clear the mucus off my chest. It inflates then vibrates and makes my breathing improve,” he added.

The AffloVest, which has to be ordered from the USA to be portable, costs £8,000 and so far, more than £2,000 has been raised to meet the cost.

Helen, of Victoria Road, Todmorden, said: “He needs a lung transplant but they can’t do it for him until his lungs are working better and the vest will do this for him.

“He has always been generally well but this year has taken a toll on him.

“His lung function has dropped to just 13 per cent and he has dropped just over six stone so there are now days when he doesn’t have the energy to do much.

“The vest we are trying to raise money for will help him whether he is having a good or a bad day. It is vital.

“So far, the response has been amazing. Morrisons supermarket and other local businesses donated items for our Christmas raffle and we have had complete strangers calling at the house who have donated large sums of money.”

Dean added: “My auntie has been fantastic in helping to raise money for the vest.”

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