Manchester

Leeds hospital team helps Blackley leg-theft victim

Anthony Booth and his sister Angela on her wedding day
Image caption Mr Booth said he was "unbelievably grateful" to the Seacroft Hospital team

A Paralympian who had his artificial legs stolen has been able to walk his sister down the aisle after a hospital team heard about his plight.

Anthony Booth, 33, said he was in "complete shock" when a team at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds offered to make him a new pair.

"It was such a special moment," he said after he gave his sister away at Manchester Register Office on Saturday.

His car, along with his prosthetics and wheelchair, were stolen on 12 June.

Mr Booth, from Blackley, who lost his legs to meningitis when he was nine, said he was "unbelievably grateful" to the team from Seacroft Hospital who made a new pair for him.

'Amazing' response

"They went above their call of duty," he said.

"They stayed for an extra five hours on Friday night to make sure I was fitted with a new pair of legs.

"Steve Carter, Paul Leishman and two other lads worked so hard to make the legs for me.

Image caption Anthony Booth said he would buy the team a present to say thank you

"I had given up hope before I got the phone call on Friday morning. I had assumed I would have to use a wheelchair I have borrowed instead of walking my sister on her special day.

"It was amazing."

His sister, Angela, had wanted him to perform the duty since the death of their father 12 years ago.

Greater Manchester Police is investigating the theft of Mr Booth's black Vauxhall Astra. The father-of-three, from Brixworth Walk, said his wheelchair, which was inside, was worth £2,500.

"I can't afford to buy another one and it is a total lifeline for me," he said.

"I do use my legs, but I use my wheelchair day in, day out - I use it for my basketball, to get to work, to travel around."

The former wheelchair ice hockey athlete, who competed in the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Japan, is hoping to take part in the wheelchair races at the London 2012 Games.

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