Charity plea to help family of Chatteris man hospitalised on Christmas Day smashes target
Nearly £2,000 has been raised to help the family of a "true gentleman" after he was allegedly attacked and left fighting for his life on a ventilator in a Cambridge Hospital.
Anita Evans, next door neighbour of Chatteris man Robert Lea, known to friends and family as Speedy, set up the Gofundme page on Boxing Day to raise funds to help pay his family's travel costs to visit him in intensive care at Addenbrookes' Hospital.
Speedy, who is in his 50s, was found injured in Station Street, Chatteris at around 10.10am on Christmas Day. He was taken in a critical condition to Addenbrooke's.
On Saturday (29) his sister shared the news that he was now off the ventilator and had opened an eye and was moving.
Anita posted the message on the family's behalf and she said: "Hi everyone just received this message from Speedy's sister - Hi mate brilliant news today he is off the ventilator and eye open slightly and moving a bit please could you now put this on the Chatteris page for me to let people know this is what we have been waiting for. Still a long way to go and far from out of the woods ... but a step in the right direction."
Anita, who has lived next door to Speedy, a former jockey, since 1977, in setting up her fundraising page said: "Robert has lived in Chatteris most of his life round Burnsfield Estate next door to me.
"He is the most kind hearted person going and would help anyone if he could. He is a true West Ham supporter , and likes a couple of pints down the Workers at the weekends. He is a true gentleman with a heart of gold and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
The money raised will help towards the family's travel costs to and from the hospital and some may be donated to Addenbrooke's too.
Anita originally set a target of £1,000 but that was easily smashed within a couple of days with the amount standing at over £1,890, today (Monday). Among those contributing are two Chatteris sportsmen - boxer Jordan Gill and snooker player Joe Perry.
Speedy's supporters are planning fundraising events including a prize bingo to further boost funds.
* An 18-year-old from Chatteris was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the incident.
A police spokesman said: "An 18-year-old man from Chatteris was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He has been released on bail until January 23.”