ROAD TO RECOVERY: Local Barney Miller hopes to one day be able to walk again but he needs your help.
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Local Barney Miller hopes to one day be able to walk again but he needs your help.

Barney may walk with your help

BARNEY Miller may be confined to a wheelchair but it won’t be forever if he has anything to do with it.

Well known on the Coffs Coast as the face of the annual Barney Miller Charity Surf Classic, Mr Miller has been confined to a wheelchair since a horrific car accident in 1999 – but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Last year, Mr Miller went to California for three months to take part in an intense rehabilitation program, Project Walk. Run specifically for people with spinal cord injuries, the program has a 76 per cent success rate.

“Barney truly believes he is among that percentage and with his focus and determination we all know he can do it,” his partner, Kate Southwell, said.

“Just in the time we were there Barney got back muscle firing in his legs – it’s an amazing place. A lot of people we met over there who weren’t walking are now taking their first steps.”

However, like all things, that therapy comes at a price. Mr Miller’s prescribed program costs approximately $30,000 for the four months, plus living expenses.

And so this month, there will be a Gala Ball at the Sawtell RSL to help raise the much-needed funds for the rehabilitation.

As well as bands and entertainment, there will be an auction on the night.

“The support of the community, friends and family really does play a big part in Barney’s hope and determination, which is a key part to his recovery,” Ms Southwell said.

Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased individually or in tables of six. They are available now from the Sawtell RSL.

If you would like to donate or for more information please phone Ms Southwell on 0422 737 814.



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