Works give Helen freedom

Gilford man Robert Desmond Millar presents a bouquet of flowers to Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.
Gilford man Robert Desmond Millar presents a bouquet of flowers to Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

Almost a decade, they say, after first calling for pavement repairs, a Gilford family are overjoyed at recent work that has literally freed a seriously ill woman from the confines of her own home.

According to her daughter Juanita, cancer patient 
Helen Millar was a virtual prisoner in her Woodlands home in Gilford because the simple act of pushing her wheelchair to the car, over the uneven paving, inflicted unbearable pain.

Now the family is 
pouring praise on the Ulster Unionist Upper Bann MLA they credit with succeeding in having the work 

“Jo-Anne Dobson got on 
the case,” said Juanita, “and when she saw how ill my
 mother was, and how much difference this work 
would make, she got straight onto having the kerbs 
lowered at Woodlands.

“They did the whole of Woodlands, resurfacing the paths and lowering kerbs.”

Juanita said the paving issue long pre-dated her 
mother’s illness.

Her father, Desmond 
Millar, had years before tripped and broken his 
shoulder in the fall, she said.

“For nine years we had been fighting for this and 
getting nowhere,” she said. The path was dreadful.

“You would see work being done in all the bigger 
towns but Gilford just seemed to have been forgotten.”

Helen’s illness added 
a new urgency to the family’s campaign.

“We were all so 
distraught because mum couldn’t even get out of the house,” said Juanita.

“She was in so much 
pain with the cancer and it shook her up so badly 
in the wheelchair that her body couldn’t bear 
the pain of it.”

Juanita said her mother couldn’t thank Jo-Anne Dobson enough, so great a 
difference the work had 

“It really has made such 
an immense change to my mum’s life,” she said.

“We’re just so grateful for what she (Mrs Dobson) 
did and we wanted to show our appreciation.

“We just couldn’t thank her enough for what she has done.

“Now we can get mum out in the wheelchair and get her in and out, and with her illness she needs to get out
 as much as possible.”

Mr Millar recently 
presented Mrs Dobson 
with a bouquet of flowers as a mark of the Gilford family’s sincere gratitude for all her efforts on their behalf.