‘Get Derek home’ – DIY SOS plea to help body shop owner return to Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 05 May 2020

Derek Marsh. Picture: Emma Cranmer-Marsh

Derek Marsh. Picture: Emma Cranmer-Marsh


A fundraising plea has been made by the family of a well-known Exmouth businessman, who was paralysed earlier this year, to return home.

Derek (left) with some of his fellow motorbike riders outside his body shop. Picture: Emma Cranmer-MarshDerek (left) with some of his fellow motorbike riders outside his body shop. Picture: Emma Cranmer-Marsh

Derek Marsh, 59, has been doing rehab in Salisbury since late March after coming off his motorbike in North Devon in February.

After being flown to hospital by air ambulance and nine hours of spinal surgery, Derek was left paralysed and will now be wheelchair bound.

The owner of Spray Point Body Works, in Victoria Way, cannot return to his Exmouth home until his flat is made ‘liveable’ for him.

Plans have been drawn up to make alterations to his flat free-of-charge by Exmouth-based Vinnarry Property Design Solutions while Cockman Builders Ltd has agreed to do the work for no fee.

Derek Marsh. Picture: Emma Cranmer-MarshDerek Marsh. Picture: Emma Cranmer-Marsh

Derek’s wife Emma Cranmer-Marsh has launched a Crowdfunder to help pay for the materials.

She said she hasn’t been able to visit him due to the coronavirus crisis.

Emma added, “We just want to raise some funds for awareness of local businesses that are helping to pay for the materials to do it.”

The plans include a wet room, ramps, rails, new flooring and an open-plan living area to be wheelchair accessible for Derek to have a ‘fulfilling’ life.

Derek Marsh and wife Emma Cranmer-Marsh in hospital. Picture: Emma Cranmer-MarshDerek Marsh and wife Emma Cranmer-Marsh in hospital. Picture: Emma Cranmer-Marsh

Derek, who was a keen motorcycle rider, was on a ride in North Tawton on February 8 when he came off his motorbike.

A Devon Air Ambulance transported him in less than 10 minutes to Derriford Hospital.

As a result of the incident, he is now paralysed from the chest down.

Emma said: “He was just going out on a ride and came off his bike – no one else was involved – but he broke his back.”

Any money left over from the Crowdfunder once the materials have been paid for will be donated to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

Emma added: “We wanted to do a bike ride for them, but we cannot do that due to coronavirus.”

He went into rehab shortly before the coronavirus lockdown was announced and as a result, his family cannot visit him.

Emma thanked Dave Cockman and Vinnarry Property Design Solutions for their support and would like to hear from other businesses which want to get involved.

Visit the fundraising website to donate.

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