Cyclists get on their bikes to help Leeds man walk again
Callum Hall was left paralysed from the chest down following a spinal infection, thought to have been linked to a sea urchin sting.
A group of Callum’s friends are cycling 450 miles from Leeds to Paris to help raise thousands of pounds to buy specialist equipment to help him walk again.
The 20-year-old from Yeadon had been suffering from back pain for three days last autumn when he woke one morning to find he couldn’t use his legs.
He was left terrified and in agony, and at hospital doctors warned he had only hours to live and needed an urgent operation.
After hours in surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, he spent months in hospital before he was able to return home.
He said: “It’s one of those things you never expect to happen to you, being told you are not going to walk again by the doctors is crushing.
“I had determination to prove them wrong.
“I managed to wiggle a toe and they still didn’t believe me.
“I was told after six weeks there would be no improvement, but at six months I am learning to use my abdominals, tense my quadriceps and hamstrings, can pick a leg up off the floor, move my feet and toes.
“The doctors were wrong, the spinal cord is such an unknown area.
“I will prove them wrong, I will walk.”
He added: “I just need funding for specialist equipment, care and treatment to achieve the impossible”.
Medics told Callum there was a one in 50,000 chance of developing the spinal infection, which started after the abscess between his shoulder blades burst.
The student, who worked part time at The Station pub in Guiseley, spent months in hospital before he was allowed to return back to his Leeds home.
And now he is hoping to defy medics.
Callum, along with friends and family, are hoping to take part in the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K in July to continue their fundraising drive for rehabilitation equipment.
However, his brother Dylan, 33, will be in a wheelchair instead of on foot as he is unable to run following problems during an operation.
He is currently waiting for further treatment.
The family are aiming to add to fundraising for specialist rehabilitation equipment to help Callum to walk.
The team of 10 cyclists will set off from Callum’s home on June 8.
Their challenge will see them embark on a route through Derby, Coventry and Portsmouth before they catch a ferry to Le Havre.
The team are hoping to then cycle through to Paris on June 13.
To find out more information about the Tour to France visit: www.callumhalltrust.com