The nephew of a woman who suffered life changing injuries after a freak fall has taken on a 45 mile running challenge to raise funds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
Philip Cowley, aged 33, took part in a 26.2 mile marathon, a 10k run and a 13.1 mile half marathon over two days, after his auntie, Sue Crookes, age 66, fell down the stairs at home and dislocating her neck and severely damaged her spinal cord.
Sue was told she may never walk again, but thanks to the ‘amazing staff’ at The Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Unit at the Northern General Hospital she has defied all expectations and is now able to walk again.
Philip was so grateful for the hard work of the staff at the unit that he decided to set himself a fundraising challenge in their aid.
He said: “When my auntie Sue fell down the stairs at home our family was rocked. We were told she may never walk again – or even worse.
“She needed an invasive operation, thankfully which was successful. Just two days after this, she could feel her right big toe being touched, and could lift her arms.
“From there started almost a year of rehabilitation getting back to her old self. She transformed from being totally dependent to being able to walk short distances with the aid of crutches.
“She can also climb stairs, pick up and hug her grandchildren again, keep up with her housework and even do a little cooking.
“Even though she is now at home, the support she has received from the hospital is still there. She has home physiotherapy once a fortnight and is now working towards her next target - getting back to her gardening next summer and possibly driving again.
“There just aren’t enough superlatives to describe the wonderful, dedicated, skilled, supportive people who put her back well and truly on the road to recovery. We are forever in their debt.”
The Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre treats patients who have injured their spinal cord and provides surgery, therapy and rehabilitation.