Review of the year 2017: May
PUBLISHED: 10:01 25 December 2017
The family of Stevenage dad Scott Everett, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, launched an appeal in May to raise £30,000 for stem cell treatment in a bid to buy him some time to see his young daughters grow up.
The 46-year-old has progressive bulbar palsy – which affects speech and swallowing before spreading to the rest of the body.
The appeal was successful and Scott has since undergone the medical treatment in Moscow, which has led to a slight improvement in his symptoms.
May also saw a fire break out in a flat above the Three Tuns pub in Ashwell, threatening to destroy the Grade-II listed building.
Fire crews from across Hertfordshire tackled the blaze and the historic building was saved.
The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault and was accidental.
A global cyber attack which crippled the NHS left staff at Lister Hospital in Stevenage unable to treat some A&E patients, forcing ambulances to divert to other hospitals.
Computer hackers had released worldwide the virus WannaCry, which encrypts data on infected computers and demands a ransom payment to allow users access.
The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs Lister, was one of more than 80 NHS Trusts in England to be infected by WannaCry, as well as 595 GP practices.
The cyber attack could have caused more disruption if it had not been stopped by a cyber researcher activating a ‘kill switch’ so WannaCry stopped locking devices.
It was the end of an era in Letchworth, as a weekly egg-and-chip lunch for the community was served for the last time.
Pauline Worland had been running the Cheap as Chips service at Brotherhood Hall in Gernon Road every Thursday for about 11 years, during which time it had provided a tasty service while also raising funds for town causes but, at the age of 74, Pauline felt it was time to call it a day.
The not-for-profit concern provided meals for £2.80 each – free for the homeless – and for many regulars who lived alone it was their social lifeline.
Any profits were ploughed back into the community through various causes.
May also saw heroes from across our area recognised for their efforts in the annual Comet Community Awards, which included a special presentation to the family of Sherma Batson – the former Stevenage mayor who died suddenly in January.