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Fortune smiles on Andy with £2,000 lotto boost

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A paralysed man who is raising money for a robotic suit so he can walk again has won £2,000 in a charity lottery.

Andy Harrison, of Melton, was delighted to find out he had won the cash on the Loros hospice lottery, which he has been playing since 2001.

The money will go straight into his fund-raising pot, taking the total raised so far to £30,000.

The 47-year-old needs £43,000 to pay for a ReWalk suit – the type worn by London Marathon heroine Claire Lomas.

He said the lottery win was a great boost.

"It was fantastic to win," Andy said.

"I found out last week and it was a really nice surprise when I got the call.

"Loros is a great cause to support and you don't do it to get something back, but it is nice to have this.

"It's great that I'll be able to put it towards the suit."

Andy has had to use a wheelchair since an operation to remove a tumour from his spine 15 years ago. He was able to also use crutches up until July 2010, but an infection caught after a routine operation then left him in a wheelchair permanently.

His appeal was launched in 2011 by his two children, Hannah, 17, and Elliott, 15, after they saw how excited he was seeing one of the suits demonstrated at an exhibition.

The ReWalk, developed in Israel, can be hidden under clothes and works with motion sensors, robotic controls and computers.

Next week, he will spend two days at a clinic run by Cyclone Technologies, a UK company marketing the suits and training people to use them.

Andy is hoping to have made progress since his last assessment in November.

"I've been working hard on my physio and I want to be able to take a few more steps than last time," he said. "I've spoken to the Cyclone people and they've said it will only take a week to order the suit.

"So, if next week is successful, I'd like to think about getting it as soon as possible, so I'll have to get back and think about making that final fund-raising push. It really is my dream to walk again and I want to do it as soon as possible. That's what my prayers are for.

"We've got a couple of fund-raising events coming up.

"Everyone has been so generous already, though. We can't believe how generous people have been, but it's hard because you don't want to keep asking the same people."

Loros lottery manager Liz Singleton said: "Andy is a lovely man and a very worthy winner."

Fortune smiles on Andy with £2,000 lotto boost


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