An Amazing effort was achieved when Carl who was badly injured whilst playing rugby completed the London Marathon in 6 hours 40 mins. Carl has raised over £4000 for tryAssist, a charity that is close to his heart.

In March 2009, Carl was severely injured playing rugby. Carl says “I went in for a tackle and suffered a spinal cord injury which left me immediately paralysed from the neck down. I was in hospital for 4 months.  Shortly after my accident, I was moved to Pinderfields Spinal Injury Unit.  A disc had pushed onto my spinal cord at level C3/4 in my neck.  This meant that I was paralysed from the point of injury downwards.  I lost the use and sensation in all of my body except my head. I was on complete bed rest for 6 weeks, lying completely flat. As I could do nothing for myself, people had to feed me, wash me and even brush my teeth!!  I had physiotherapy almost every day, and even though I could not feel them moving my legs and arms, I looked forward to it, as I knew this is what would help me to recover. 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.  It was slow, but every improvement was a good sign. ”

“The day my bed rest was over, I was hoisted into a wheelchair.  This was an exciting moment for all of us, as I was actually out of my bed for the first time since my accident.  My excitement was soon dampened as I had built up in my head that as soon as I got in the chair, I could practice wheeling about to build up my strength.  I couldn’t even move the chair an inch!!  I worked and 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.  At times, people doubted that this would happen as most people with a spinal cord injury never walk again but I was determined to get to Jersey for my wedding day. The journey to walking was a slow process as I had to build up my strength to even transfer from the bed to the wheelchair, to turn over in bed, to do simple things like feed myself and blow my own nose. These are all things we take for granted but I had to learn to do them again.”

“I was finally ready to stand in a standing frame but could only do it for minutes at a time.  I went to the gym every day and built up the strength to do it for longer and longer.  I then progressed to taking a few steps in a zimmer frame, to walking between parallel bars, and then using crutches.  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 that 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 5 months old.”

“I want to take part in the London Marathon as I want to raise £5000 for the Try Assist Rugby League Benevolent Fund. The benevolent fund charity has helped and supported me since my injury and I am still having physiotherapy which is paid for by the fund. This would be my way of saying thank you. So many other players and their families have been helped by the fund and the money I raise will go towards supporting their continuing needs but also anyone else who needs support in the future. I have been extremely lucky. Unfortunately that is not always the case so any money you donate will make such a difference. The marathon will be a huge challenge for me and I am hoping to complete it under 7 hours.”

ON COMPLETION OF THE MARATHON:

I am proud to announce that I completed the Virgin London Marathon in 6 hours 40 mins.  I am so pleased I managed to achieve it, especially as I was told I would never run 800m again. It was an amazing day and I thoroughly enjoyed, eventhough it was a tough challenge. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored and supported me. The Leeds Rhinos have donated £1000 and Wiliam Hill gave me a free £100 bet at 7:1 that if I finished under 7hours, they would donate £700. This should bump up my total significantly and with gift aid I should have almost made my target. Thanks again, the money will be used to help others that havent been as lucky as I have.

If you would like to still sponsor Carl please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CarlDacres