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Heartbroken family set up fundraiser to bring son home as he fights for his life abroad

The dad-of-five from Stockport was on the trip of a lifetime

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A mother has spoken of her family’s anguish as her son is fighting for his life in a hospital bed abroad after a horrific motorcycle crash. 

Jay Bridgehouse, a dad-of-five from Stockport, was on the trip of a lifetime ‘to chase his dreams’ with his girlfriend Naomi in Thailand before he collided with a pick-up truck on the evening Friday February 25th, at around 8.30pm (UK time).

His family claim the driver was travelling at speed when the crash happened, while Jay, 32, was riding his motorbike without a helmet. He was immediately rushed to the Koh Samui International Hospital, where he currently remains in a critical condition.

Jay had been on the phone to Naomi and forgot to end the call properly just moments before, meaning she had to endure hearing the horrific collision. His family back home received the heartbreaking news from over 5,000 miles away.

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Jay was taken into life-saving surgery to remove a bleed on his brain and suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, as well as to his body. Doctors expected him to come round after the emergency surgery within four to six hours but he slipped into a coma.

His parents are out there by his side along with other family members as they hope and pray for Jay to pull through. Following the surgery, Jay developed a second bleed on the brain and then caught pneumonia.

He is now hooked-up to a ventilator as he is unable to breathe independently. Recent CT scans and tests have revealed that Jay has minimal brain activity due to infarctions throughout his brain. His family said the first round of surgery led to an infection in his brain which has since spread into his bloodstream causing him to now develop sepsis.

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His medical bills currently stand at £10,000 with costs racking up daily and his family desperate to bring him home. The British Consulate helped to secure emergency travel documents and passports so Jay’s family could fly to Thailand and be with him.

But in order to bring him back to the UK for further treatment and a medical evacuation while he is reliant on a ventilator, his family say it’s estimated to cost around £32,000. Jay’s sister Abbie Bridgehouse has set up a Go Fund Me page and the family have urged the public to help with any small donation they can to help bring their boy home and get him a medical evaluation.

Jay’s sister Abbie has described him as a ‘fun loving, and often teasing, big brother’. She said: “He is an avid Manchester United fan and watched the games whenever he could. He has been known to blast out an out of tune version of Tom Jones ‘Delilah’ on the karaoke whenever he had the chance.

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“Jay is Manchester born and bred, still very connected with home, top of his playlist is Aitch, the rapper from Moston, Manchester. He was in contact with home often and always ended his calls with ‘I love you all the world big sausages’ and ‘I miss you.’”

Abbie said the family have borrowed money and maxed out credit cards’ to be in Thailand with Jay, and now have ‘nowhere else to turn other than to beg for the generosity and kindness of family, friends and strangers’ to help save him.

She added: “We are asking for help to bring our boy home to Manchester. We are asking for help to pay Jay’s medical bills. We are asking for help to sit by Jay’s bedside, so he is not alone while we hold his hand, and he fights for his life.”

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Family friend Claire Parry has asked for anyone who can help to make donation, ‘even if it’s £1’. At time of writing, the Bridgehouse family have so far raised over £21,000 with the help of the public’s donations, with a goal of reaching £50,000 to cover costs.

Part of the donation page says: “The hospital staff have recommended that we go to the public for help and suggested #GoFundMe and have said they will support us with any paperwork, if you’re reading this and feel apprehensive about donating…

“We are asking for help to sit by Jay’s bedside, so he is not alone while we hold his hand, and he fights for his life. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for helping. Thank you for caring.

“You never think something like this will happen to you and, as a family, we thought that too. If you can help, with whatever you can afford, our family will be very grateful. As a family we appreciate any help you can offer in our darkest time of need, but as his baby sister, I am appealing to anyone and everyone to share this. Please X”

 

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First ever permanent pug cafe to open in Greater Manchester

If you’re a fan of pugs, you’re going to love this!

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A brand new cafe full of adorable and playful pugs is set to open in Greater Manchester.

You could go for a coffee and cake while 10 cute pugs cuddle, play and come for treats from your hands at this brand new cafe concept opening on Chapel Street in Salford.

Already a huge hit in London, with visitors from near and far, Cuppapug will be opening its first café in the North West – and its second venue – with a soft launch on Friday March 1st.

Cuppapug

Pug lovers can book in at the cafe for an hour of crazy or chilled pug time, suitable for all the family to enjoy.

Cuppapug is a cafe concept created by couple – and owners of seven pugs – Aaron Carty and Matthew Pieterse, who opened the doors to their first venue in London in 2022.

Fully opening to the public on March 21st, visitors to Cuppapug can expect the adorable, furry four-legged friends running around the cafe, playing in ball pits and eating carrots and treats from your hands.

The menu will feature a host of doggy-themed drinks and cakes as well as treats for the doggos such as puppuccinos.

Cuppapug

In case you’re wondering where the pugs go at the end of the day, each one belongs to local owners who drop their loveable fur baby off at the cafe for a day of mischief and fun.

Also in the CuppaPug family are Gaston, Bruce, Bowser, Beau, Gizmo, Bebe, and Baloo – Aaron and Matt’s pugs who’ve been staying with them at The Kimpton Clocktower as they prep the site for opening.

Speaking to Proper Manchester about the new opening, Aaron said: “We chose Manchester because we discovered it is a city full of dog lovers who love pugs.

“We get so many people visiting our London cafe from the North, we’ve even people catching flights from Hawaii, so it seemed like the right place to open our next Cuppapug.”

Cuppapug

On why he and Matt love pugs so much, Aaron said: “I think of pugs being a lot like myself and I also love an underdog – and pugs are an underdog of the dog world.

“People think they are unfit, unhealthy and have breathing issues but that’s not true. We actually train our pugs to enjoy carrots, walk a lot, and our pet pugs enjoy a steak night every week – even I don’t get that!”

The Salford Cuppapug will also be partnering with Manchester Pug Thing, who rescue and rehome pugs, with £1 from every ticket going towards the pug rescue charity.

Aaron added: “We’ve had such overwhelming support and positive messages about our Manchester opening, it’s been absolutely amazing. 

“It’s already a nerve-wrecking experience deciding to open a second venue but we’re really happy to have chosen to do it in Manchester and we’re really happy Manchester has chosen us. We’ve had so many drivers going past and beeping us and people asking ‘is this the pug place?’

“We’re having a launch party on March 21st and are really excited to open.”

CuppaPug officially opens to the public on March 21st 6-10pm, following a soft launch this Friday (March 1st). You can find the cafe and pugs on Chapel Street, Salford – it’s bright pink, you can’t miss it!

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Primary school in Greater Manchester evacuated after nearby ‘gas explosion’

BREAKING:

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A primary school in Greater Manchester has been evacuated after a ‘gas explosion’ at a nearby house.

The incident happened earlier today (February 28th) near to St Luke’s primary school in Bury.

Councillor Tamoor Tariq said everyone who lived nearby has also been taken to a place of safety after the blast, which happened in the Fishpool area.

At around 12pm, he posted on Facebook: “Heartbreaking to share there has been a gas explosion in the last few minutes right across from my house.

Tamoor Tariq / Facebook

“I understand everyone has been taken into a place of safety and emergency services are doing all possible to deal with this awful situation.

“St Luke’s primary have also evacuated children, as they are just yards away. I remain out of the country due to a family member being critical, but I am keeping in touch with all relevant people/authorities.”

In a further comment, Mr Tamoor added: “An elderly neighbour has been taken into hospital, all others affected are in a safe and secure place of their choosing. Praying our neighbour will be ok and get the treatment she needs.”

Tamoor Tariq / Facebook

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said ‘multiple crews’ had been dispatched to the scene.

They added: “Residents in the area are advised to keep windows and doors closed and avoid the scene while crews carry out their work.”

A woman in her 70s has been taken to hospital with ‘serious injuries’, Greater Manchester Police said.

Tamoor Tariq / Facebook

Issuing a statement on social media, GMP said: “Emergency services are currently responding to a report of an explosion at a property on Nelson Street in the Fishpool area of Bury.

“At this stage, a woman in her 70s has been taken to hospital with serious injuries. A 200 metre cordon is in place around the property and neighbouring homes.

“Local residents and the community will be made aware if they need to take any further action.”

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Iceland announces it’s discounting baby formula to cut price of £7.95

Iceland CEO Richard Walker says says ‘businesses need to step up and do more’

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Iceland has launched reduced cost baby formula in a bid to do more to help families through the cost of living crisis.

Iceland CEO Richard Walker is determined to bring down the cost of baby formula, and says ‘businesses need to step up and do more’.

The businessman has made it his mission after hearing heartbreaking tales from parents who have been struggling to feed their families amid spiralling costs.

Edward Hands / Wikimedia

Mr Walker, a dad-of-two, told Metro: “We’ve heard terrible stories of customers watering down feeds, skipping feeds or ignoring sell by dates, all of which is really bad for the baby. That prompted us to take action.”

Iceland slashed prices earlier this year, revealing three of its Aptamil formula milk products would sell at £11.20 – a move which led other supermarkets including Asda and Tesco to reduce their own prices. 

Now, Iceland has confirmed it is selling 800g of SMA’s Little Steps formula milk for £7.95 across its stores and online from Tuesday February 27th – £1.80 cheaper than its rivals.

Ben Kerckx / Wikimedia

Mr Walker insisted it’s not just a clever business move either, as he continued: “The price is a mind-blowing £7.95 which makes it the cheapest infant formula milk on the market. I think it will really really help our customers.

“We’re not making any profit out of this now. We’re passing on the savings which we’re managing to persuade the manufacturer to give straight on to our customers.”

The baby formula industry is currently under investigation after prices rose by an average of 25% in the past two years.

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it is looking into whether companies have been exploiting parents for profit.

Iceland’s launch of lower priced baby formula has also gained the support of Mumsnet.

The eight-million strong parenting group have announced they are joining forces with Formula For Change – Metro’s campaign to lower baby formula prices.

Mr Walker has also signed the petition and is calling on parents to sign it and help push it over the line.

Politicians may soon be forced to address the scandal as the Formula for Change petition is almost at the 100,000 signatures mark – the crucial threshold needed for a parliamentary debate on the issue.

Mr Walker also told the publication: “Formula for Change is absolutely fantastic. The Prime Minister has said he is ‘sad’ families are watering down formula to try and make it last longer, but again these are just words.”

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