Locals have raised over £30,000 to buy a new adapted vehicle for a man paralysed in a freak accident years ago.
Kevin Christie broke his neck in 2004 after jumping into a paddling pool in Carnoustie.
He was left paralysed from the chest down, blind, and required a ventilator to assist his breathing overnight.
Now his local community, including long-time friend Yvette Anderson, have raised thousands through the Kevin Christie Fund to buy him a new adapted vehicle.
“It was a crazy mishap,” said Kevin, 48.
“One day years ago, I thought I was going to be a bit of a smart arse and do an overhead somersault into a paddling pool and show off.
“Unfortunately I forgot to put my hands out and I landed on my head.
“At that point I broke my neck. Fortunately I can’t remember anything of it — I wasn’t even drinking, I hadn’t touched a drop.
“I’ll not be doing that again.”
Head fundraiser Yvette did not witness the accident, but she received a call about what had happened later in the day.
“It was quite a horrific time,” added Yvette, 46.
“It was just a freak accident.”
The Kevin Christie Fund was launched soon after the 2004 accident to ensure Kevin maintained a good quality of life despite his injuries.
The fund has been used to buy Kevin his last car, an exercise bike and a table among other things.
His friends and family began fundraising for the new car in 2019.
Yvette said: “He had had his last car for about 11 years, so it was getting quite old and needing replaced.
“I decided to do the Kiltwalk and started fundraising on Facebook and it just took off from there.
“Kev is from Carnoustie, so a lot of local fundraisers got involved: the Co-op did a raffle and folk started donating money here, there and everywhere.
“The Carnoustie Links Golf Course where Kev’s dad used to work donated a substantial amount, about £15,000.
“The money raised from the Kiltwalk came to over £10,000 and the other efforts from locals brought the total amount to over £30,000 raised.”
‘Over the moon’
The pandemic paused the search for an adapted vehicle for over a year, until restrictions were relaxed in recent months.
“We saw a good Volkswagen Caddy in Newcastle and went down to pick it up,” said Yvette.
“It’s already been adapted for his use — the first car he had needed adapting, but it’s much easier to buy a car that’s already been adapted.”
Kevin, who lives in Monifieth, now wants to thank the community for their kind efforts towards securing a new mode of travel for him.
“I’m over the moon, it’s absolutely marvellous,” he said.
“I just want to thank everyone for their efforts and let them know it’s gone to a good cause. I’m really grateful.
“I’ve been out a couple of times and it’s just great.
“It’s got much better wheels than the wheelchair!”
Yvette, Kevin’s friend of over 20 years, added: “It’s good for Kev to get out and about and go a drive.
“It gives you a lot more freedom.”
Kevin hopes the new car helps to improve his quality of life, as he has already been out to visit family and friends.
“Hopefully the future is looking bright, and I can look forward with my eyes,” he said.
“Even though they’re not working.”