In March 2009, Carl Dacres was paralysed from the neck down after a fatal collision in a rugby game that left him a sufferer of a spinal cord injury. Losing the use and sensation of his whole body except from his head, it was unlikely that he would ever walk again.
Two years later Carl has defied the odds, completing the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in 6 hours 40 minutes and raising £5,000 for the Try Assist Rugby League Benevolent Fund charity, who supported him after his injury and continue to fund his physiotherapy.
“After my accident I could do nothing for myself, people had to feed me, wash me and even brush my teeth! I had physiotherapy almost every day, in which feeling and movement came back very gradually. It was as small as moving a toe and a thumb, to progressing to moving a finger and a foot, but every improvement was a good sign.
“The day my bed rest was over I was hoisted into a wheelchair. However, my excitement was soon dampened when I couldn’t move the chair an inch. I worked until I could wheel the chair up the corridor. I set myself targets every day as I wanted to be able to walk again. Another major target was the fact that I wanted to walk down the aisle as I was due to get married in Jersey on 1st August.
“By the time I left the hospital, I was using walking sticks. I was still slow and unsteady on my feet but I managed to get to Jersey and walk down the aisle with my wife. It was a magical day which was made even more special because of what we had been through. We have since been blessed with a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 months old.
“I wanted to take part in the London Marathon because it would be my way of saying thank you. It was an amazing day and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it was a tough challenge. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored and supported me.”
You can find Carl’s Virgin Money Giving fundraising page here: virginmoneygiving.com/carldacres