By Bejay Browne
AN EVENT full of fun and activities will be held next month to raise funds for a British mother of two who was badly burnt in a house fire at her home in Peyia.
Toni Seago, 46, suffered third degree burns to 40 per cent of her body when a blaze broke out in one of the bedrooms on January 6.
She was rushed to Paphos general hospital and later transferred to Nicosia due to the severity of her injuries. Seago has remained there ever since and until last week she had been kept in a medically-induced coma.
“Toni was brought out of an induced coma a week ago and her condition remains critical, but is slowly improving. She is aware of what has happened and what lies ahead, but isn’t able to talk yet as she still has a pipe to aid her breathing inserted in her airway,” family friend John McGee told the Cyprus Mail.
The children, aged seven and nine, were not injured and have since moved to the UK and are being cared for by their grandmother and uncle. The children had been living alone with their mother after their father was killed in a traffic accident.
“I speak to them regularly and they have started at a new school and are coping with the situation,” McGee said.
According to Paphos police, the fire was caused by a candle left burning on a nightstand. Police said the children were woken by the fire and ran next door to get help. Seago was found unconscious in her upstairs bedroom, lying on her back.
McGee said that members of Seago’s family have returned to the UK after visiting her again in hospital. He wanted to thank hospital staff at Makarios hospital and the British consulate on behalf of the family. “They have been fantastic,” he said.
“We were told by Toni’s doctors that she will remain in intensive care for another six to eight weeks. She is still undergoing a number of skin grafts. The idea is that she will eventually be repatriated to the UK.”
The fundraiser is being organised by PAWS dog shelter, and Paphos residents Jane Harris and Sharron Acty.
“We were very upset and touched by this tragedy and we wanted to do something to help. My husband knew her well as she was a volunteer at PAWS dog shelter where he is a manager,” Harris said.
The event will be held on Sunday, March 15, from 6.30pm at Neo’s in Peyia. The programme will include a quiz, a raffle, live entertainment from Andros, Melissa and Bob Clarkson, and a buffet. Ticketsare priced at 15 euros and the proceeds will go to Toni’s family.
McGee said: “The money may be used to cover any medical costs which may arise and aren’t covered. This is a fantastic gesture from PAWS, Stavros of Neo’s and the other people involved. It’s much appreciated.”
Tickets are available from Neo’s (Tel. 26622900), PAWS dog shelter, The Mill (26621550) and Here and Now.