Family 'gobsmacked' over support to fly terminally-ill North Staffordshire mum home

Pictured are Lavelle Crutchley's sons, Samuel, Thomas and Rade, along with her mum, Julie Hankey, who are in a desparate race-against-time to raise £40,000 to fly their terminally ill mum back to the UK
-Credit: (Image: StokeOnTrentLive)


Family and friends of a terminally-ill mum-of-four stranded abroad held a charity day in an effort to fly her home. Footballers took to the field while there was live music and activities for youngsters as well-wishers aim to raise thousands to get Lavelle Crutchley back to North Staffordshire.

StokeonTrentLive had previously reported how the 45-year-old, of Bradwell, has liver failure. She had gone to the Canaries with her two teenage sons and her brother on one final holiday.

However while there she needed to be admitted to hospital and now the only way to get her back to North Staffordshire is for a helicopter with costs of £40,000. Her mum Julie Hankey had previously revealed the generosity of friends, family and Lavelle's sons' employers. But they still needed thousands.

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To add further funds a charity football match took place at Redgate Clayton on May 26. The event saw a match before supporters enjoyed games, including throwing cream filled sponges at willing participants in stocks.

Live music on the day came courtesy of Levi Knapper while there was food being served up along with a raffle. The event was put together by Lavelle's sons including Thomas Brian and his caring pals.

Eldest son Thomas told StokeonTrentLive: "The match was good and a lot more people came than I thought. They were all showing their support - I’m gobsmacked. It’s not even the donations that have left me speechless, it’s just the turnout shows how many people love her and want her back.

“Mum’s stable at the minute. I was there from May 21 until the day of the fund-raiser - getting back at 4am. Mum loved seeing us everyday. She’s been on her own in a room all day, but she seems a lot more positive because we’ve taken her out on walks, and she just wanted to see us.”

-Credit:Stoke Sentinel
-Credit:Stoke Sentinel

Lavelle’s mum, Julie was grateful for the fund-raising day. She said: "It’s a really important day today because we don’t think she has long left, so we’re hoping to get her back so she can have her last few days with her children. Lavelle’s boys are lovely young lads and what they’ve done is amazing. Thomas’s friends who’ve helped him to organise it have been brilliant too.

“I’ve just got back from Fuerteventura as I’ve been a couple of times with the children so they could see her. Lavelle’s been there for a month now. If we have a bit of luck we’ll get her back."

Lavelle’s family still need to raise more than £10,000 of the £40,000 to get her back home where she belongs. To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

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