Inspirational teenager David Walley, who cheated death after a shooting accident and defied the odds to learn to walk and talk again, has taken the top title in the 2012 ‘Pride of Shropshire’ awards. See a full gallery of pictures from the event inside.
Inspirational teenager David Walley, who cheated death after a shooting accident and defied the odds to learn to walk and talk again, has taken the top title in the 2012 ‘Pride of Shropshire’ awards.
The 13-year-old, from Cheswardine near Market Drayton, received a standing ovation when he collected his award at the county’s fifth annual community awards, held at Shrewsbury Town football club.
Last night’s event, organised by the Shropshire Star, recognised unsung heroes who go the extra mile to make a difference in their communities, and inspire others.
David was shot in the head with an airgun pistol at the age of eight, leaving a pellet lodged in his brain. He spent four weeks in a coma, and doctors gave him just a seven per cent chance of survival.
The accident left him paralysed down his right hand side, and he has had to learn to breathe, talk, eat and walk again. But he has battled his way back, to return to school.
David told a tearful audience last night how proud he was of his achievements, and said he had wanted ‘to get back with his friends’. This year’s other Pride of Shropshire awards were spread across the county – three winners were from Telford, two from Shrewsbury, and others came from Lydbury North, Baschurch and Broseley.
Chris Furber, of Bomere Heath, who is coaching British Paralympic cyclists, also received a special judges’ award. Former world cycling champion Hugh Porter and his wife Anita Lonsbrough – an Olympic swimming gold medalist – presented the trophy.
Overall Champion: David Walley, Cheswardine.
Courage: Grace Currie, Bagley, near Baschurch.
Good Neighbour: Tina Rogers, Brookside, Telford.
Carer: Margaret Lowe, Broseley.
Environmental Champion: Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shrewsbury.
Learner: David Walley, Cheswardine.
Special Young Person: Mathew Clarke, Lydbury North.
Health Champion: Jayne Stevens, Madeley, Telford.
Youth Community: Rachel Hill, Shrewsbury.
Local Hero: Ricky Furgusson, Telford.
Judges’ Special Award: Chris Furber, Bomere Heath.
Read Carl Jones' report on the winners of the Pride of Shropshire Awards 2012 in today's Shropshire Star.