Peak of fitness after major back surgery

Challenge: X-ray showing the framework fitted to Paul Gregory's spine.
Challenge: X-ray showing the framework fitted to Paul Gregory's spine.
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A DERBYSHIRE businessman overcame a debilitating back condition which had robbed him of the active life he loved and completed a hiking challenge in aid of a Sheffield children’s charity.

Paul Gregory was struck down with the problems in this forties, when stabbing pains through his lower spine often left him unable to walk more than 15 yards without stopping for a rest.

Challenge: Paul Gregory taking on some of the region's highest hills for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Challenge: Paul Gregory taking on some of the region's highest hills for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Paul, who is now aged 55, explained: “I started having problems years ago; I was diagnosed as having spinal stenosis.

“Sometimes it was really bad when I was walking or bending, I’d have to stop what I was doing and sit down.

“I liked playing squash and five- a-side football and didn’t want the pain to stop me doing things like that but it got so bad I couldn’t.”

He initially opted to undergo a minimally invasive operation at first and enjoyed a few years that were pain free.

But then the problems and the pain returned and it became clear he needed major spinal surgery.

He underwent spinal decompression and fusion procedure, which was carried out by Vik Kapoor, a surgeon at the Spire Regency private hospital, in Macclesfield.

Paul, from Buxton, explained: “Mr Kapoor put a framework at the bottom of my spine held in place by screws.

“It was a big operation which meant I needed a complete blood transfusion.

“But what Mr Kapoor did changed my life. I am back doing things I used to do and it is fantastic.”

Less than six months later, Paul had taken on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, climbing the region’s highest hills.

Paul raised £2,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, in North Anston through the event.

Paul added: “Some people thought I was pushing it, six months and one day after the op.

“But I did the 25 miles with a rucksack on my back and didn’t feel a thing - I couldn’t believe it.

“I was glad to raise money for Bluebell Wood, but to be honest, I did it as much for myself, personally. When it was over, I felt I could do anything.”