A DETERMINED Stourbridge mum who nearly drowned trying to rescue a young boy in heavy surf in north Devon has thanked fundraisers for their unwavering support and vowed to be back home by Christmas.

Deb Drew suffered catastrophic brain injuries after trying to save the nine-year-old youngster from pounding waves at Woolacombe in the summer of 2014 - changing her life forever.

The unnamed youngster is believed to have survived the incident but his fate has never been confirmed.

Every day since has been a fight for Deb, a former pharmaceutical rep, but she has continued to defy the odds - regaining her speech and strength of character to the amazement of friends and family.

Along the way she's had great support from loyal pals at Stourbridge Lawn Tennis and Squash Club and Stourbridge Rugby Football Club including a gutsy gang of guys who back in 2015 raised more than £6,000 for a fund to help pay for Deb's care needs.

Now - two years after their first charity challenge - they're getting set for another epic fundraising adventure for the Deb Drew Fund.

Stourbridge News:

This time the 12-strong team will be taking on a three-day challenge, which they've nicknamed 'Bangers and Cash', which will start with a road trip in four old banger cars from the tennis club in Sugar Loaf Lane to north Wales where they will scale Mount Snowdon before jumping back in the cars for a drive to Lake Bala.

Next up will be a swim across the famously deep and clear lake, which even has its own monster legend, and once out of the water the lads will take on a 60-plus mile cycle ride to Liverpool before heading on a final road trip in their old cars back to Stourbridge.

Steve Simmonds, from Enville, who is among the gung-ho team-mates taking on the challenge, said: "We're upping the ante a little bit this time. It's a three-stage challenge. We meet weekly anyway so we do try and do certain amounts of physical activity - we have done some training by way of hill walks and cycling so I think we're almost ready."

Stourbridge News:

Set to head off on May 4, the guys have already managed to raise pledges of £18,000 for Deb's fund - just over half of which has been offered up by generous Pedmore Sporting Club.

The aim is to raise around £25,000 in total to cover the cost of a new specially-designed wheelchair for Deb which will enable her to stand and operate it on her own.

The courageous 51-year-old, who has been left unable to use her limbs since the tragedy and who is currently being cared for at Hunters Moor neurological rehabilitation centre in Hall Green, hopes to be able to return to her Oldswinford home by Christmas this year.

She told the News: "By December 24 I want to be home and I also want to be able to go to my friend's house in Cheshire."

She said "she can't thank the boys enough for all their fundraising" and she added: "All my friends and family have just been fantastic - they come and visit me every day, so I'm never left on my own. I would never have got through this without them."

Deb's mum Beryl, aged 80, also praised the committed fundraisers and said: "We're overwhelmed - they've been so kind. They did the first cycle ride and we didn't expect them to do anything else."

The team, which comprises Lex Allan, Rich Cattell, Graham Danks, Jason Edwards, Jules Fellows, Aubrey Grosvenor, Nick Goodwin, Ian Mitchell, Tim Mitchell, Phil Olding, Steve Simmonds and Jason Sykes, have been kindly sponsored by a host of big-hearted businesses but they're still appealing for donations.

Stourbridge News:

They could also do with another two old cars for the road.

Anyone able to help can find out more or make a donation via website www.local-fundraising.com or www.facebook/VOTERfundraising or via twitter.com/DebDrewfund.