A TRUST fund set up by the family of Dr Sophie Williams to enable her to return to the home has raised more than £24,000.

University lecturer Sophie fell critically ill after she was infected with a Japanese encephalitis in south-east China in July 2015, while undertaking research with students from Bangor University.

The virus paralysed Sophie, 33, who still requires a ventilator, and she was recently transferred from Ysbyty Gwynedd, in Bangor, Wales, to a rehabilitation centre in Bury.

Although she continues to make good progress.

Sophie will always need 24-hour care and the aim was to raise £60,000 to adapt the home she shared with her partner Dr Robert Annewandter, near Bangor.

Sophie’s father, Mike Williams, who is the owner of Castlegate News, in Malton, said a Justgiving site had now been set up, which had raised £4,000 in its first week.

A quiz night held at Malton School raised £1,360 and a concert organised by the Salvation Army a further £500.

Mike also completed a sponsored climb of Snowden last month and has so far raised more than £5,000.

“I first climbed Snowdon 10 years ago when I was accompanied by Sophie,” he said.

“This time it was more of a challenge, but it was a fantastic feeling to conquer it.”

Mike said: “We have been very overwhelmed by the support of people locally, as well as Sophie’s friends and colleagues in Wales.”

To make a donation, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sophiewilliams