Mother hits out at heartless vandals who poisoned disabled daughter's garden

The mother of a girl with life-limiting health issues has hit out at ‘sickening’ yobs after they poisoned their Wakefield garden designed for them by TV’s Alan Titchmarsh.

By Nick Frame
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 3:32 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th June 2022, 3:35 pm

Shabnam Nazir was left shocked when she returned home recently to find the trees and plants had been killed off in the custom-made garden, designed for her 12-year-old wheelchair-bound daughter Amelia.

After being nominated by a friend, famous gardener Alan Titchmarsh visited their Barnstone Vale home last summer to complete a garden makeover for the popular ITV show, Love Your Garden.

It was then screened in December.

Shabnam Nazir and her daughter Amelia.

Police are now hunting the vandals who they say poured the corrosive liquid on the trees and plants, and kicked part of a wall down.

Shabnam is uncertain when the targeted attack happened because she has been at Amelia’s bedside in Leeds General Infirmary after the youngster came terrifyingly close to losing her life in February.

She suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on a ventilator for two weeks.

But having pulled through, Amelia then had to undergo major surgery after her bowel became twisted.

Amelia in her garden.

The doctors have since been forced to remove 80 per cent of her bowel, which means she will never be able to eat regular food.

It means Amelia now has to be fed intravenously through a central line into her chest.

Shabnam is to undergo training by medical staff so she can administer the nutrients at home, a delicate procedure that can easily lead to life-threatening infections, such as sepsis.

She told the Express: “I’ve hardly been home because Amelia was in the intensive care unit for such a long time.

Amelia has been in hospital for months.

“I just went home to pick up a few bits and I noticed the garden.

“It looked like someone had put something on the trees because thy had all died off.

“I don’t know if it was some kind of chemical because the plants had died as well. They had pulled part of the wall off as well.

“Under the circumstances it seems quite sickening.

The garden was made for her by Alan Titchmarsh.

“The garden was made for Amelia, so how anyone could do that is beyond belief.

“Do they not have a heart?

“I’m absolutely gutted and I don’t want Amelia to see it like that.

“Hopefully we will be home for the summer so I want to try and get it sorted so she never needs to know about it.

“Even before everything that happened earlier this year she was very much housebound so to have this garden was brilliant for her.

“She was often sick and could not go out, that’s why we needed it.

“It was just a nice little place for her to be, she absolutely loves it.”

The police have said that patrols are being increased in the Pinders Heath area of Wakefield and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

They can call 101 or email [email protected]

Shabnam added: “We have no idea who would have done this.

“It’s just so stressful with everything that’s going on and now we have to deal with this.

“If there is anyone that could help us, that would be great.”

The recent vandal attack is not the first time Shabnam and Amelia have been targeted.

In 2016 they suffered a setback when heartless thieves broken into their home and ransacked it, taking off with a safe containing jewellery and more than £5,000 in cash that was to be spent on Amelia’s ongoing treatment.

Suffering from Cerebral Palsy and progressive intestinal failure, Amelia will need specialist care throughout her life.

When she was just three, the NHS said they could not fund a ground-breaking therapy, Advanced Bio-mechanical Rehabilitation (ABR) - a technique which loosens body muscles to reduce the effects of the palsy.

Shabnam, who gave up her job to look after Amelia full-time, said she needed to raise £5,000 a year to pay for the treatment. In 2017 Shabnam launched another fundraiser, this time with the hope of scraping together £9,000 to help buy an adjustable bath for Amelia.

It came after she successfully applied for a Disabilities Facilities Grant, to create a bedroom, wet room and play space for Amelia in the downstairs of their home, but did not cover the specialist bath she required. The target was once again hit, and the bath installed in December 2017.

Then last year, after being nominated by a friend, they were chosen as the deserving recipient of the new garden, courtesy of Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden.

It included creating wider pathways, for Amelia’s wheelchair and a swing.