Support for crushed holidaymaker Laurie has been “incredible” says mum

THE mum of a holidaymaker crushed by a 15-stone gas bottle in a freak holiday accident this week thanked friends and well-wishers for their “incredible” support during her long journey back to health.

Deana Balfour — who said when she heard about daughter Laurie’s injuries “I feared I might not get her back” — said she and husband Philip had been overwhelmed by the messages and donations which flooded in after the incident on the Greek holiday island of Zante last August.

“When Laurie came home and saw all the messages she had received from around the world, she just couldn’t believe it,” said Deana.

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“Those messages kept me and Laurie’s dad going. The amount of support has just been crazy.”

The 25-year-old, who spent seven weeks in a Greek hospital after being left in a coma with a severe brain injury by the nightclub accident, celebrated Christmas and the new year at home in Edlington with her parents and boyfriend Nathan Roe.

She is now looking forward to an operation to put a metal plate in her head next month and, after that, she hopes to make a full recovery and return to work.

It could all have been so different, as Deana recalled: “When you send your child off on holiday, you think of all the things that could happen to them.

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“But Laurie was not skydiving or jet-skiing or anything, this was the most unlikely accident.

“As soon as I heard about it, I booked a one-way flight out to Greece to be with her.

“They told me when I got to hospital that there was no brain activity and there was a slim chance she would recover if she pulled through at all, so I thought I might not get her back.

“I managed to get a hotel just five minutes from the hospital and I was just sitting in tears at breakfast and then having to go on be strong for Laurie.”

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The family received a boost when they were able to bring Laurie back to the UK in September.

Four months on, she is still suffering from hearing problems and extreme tiredness.

But her mum said her operation next month — to put a plate in place of the hole in her skull made by doctors to allow her brain to swell after the accident — would be a crucial milestone on her journey back to a normal life.

“She has to rest a lot but her attitude and her outlook is just amazing, she’s been so positive,” said Deana, who returned to work this week after months of caring for Laurie.

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“We keep joking that after she has the metal plate she will be like the Terminator.”

Among the many supporters who have put on events or fund-raisers to help Laurie while she is off work is her uncle Jimmy Balfour, who owns a boxing gym and raised £800 by taking part in his first ever fight last month.

Deana also paid tribute to Nathan, who lives in London and met Laurie at a music festival last May but had yet to go on a date with her when tragedy struck.

“He came up to see her the first weekend she was home and I think he’s been up every weekend since,” she said. 

“We thought it was so nice he still wanted to be with her.

“He has kept her focused on getting better.”

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She added: “All we want is for Laurie to have some normality, and she would love to go on holiday. 

“She wants to get back to full health.”

You can donate to help Laurie at

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