A man who can barely move has found a way to cycle for two hours a day over the course of 80 days - all to help children in a local hospice.
Before suffering a debilitating stroke while on holiday in France two years ago, David Collings, from Aston near Rotherham, was incredibly active and completed several sporting challenges in support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in south Yorkshire.
Now, aged 60, he lives with locked-in syndrome meaning he can hardly move his body and has to communicate using his eyes. Yet, he is still determined to help others, including the son of one of the women working at the rehabilitation centre he attends.
David’s daughter Georgina Tyler-Collings told HuffPost UK: “My dad’s challenge means so much to so many people, at the very least this is him not letting his own condition stop him from doing what he always wants to do: help others.
“This challenge proves to family, friends and strangers from afar, that if a man has determination, nothing can stop him, and that is incredible.”
Since 24 May 2018, David has cycled for two hours a day for an 80-day challenge that he will finish in mid-August. So far he has raised £1,161.50 for the hospice, smashing his £1,000 target.
He is completing the fundraiser at Steps Rehabilitation Centre in Sheffield, using a therapy bike. It has a motor-assisted setting, which starts moving his legs passively and, once started, he is able to join in with the machine to actively participate in cycling. If he gets tired, the bike can take over and cycle until he joins in again.
Feedback on the machine lets therapists know the percentage of time which David is actively joining in during each session. It is hoped this intensive rehabilitation will also help him regain some movement in future.
David was inspired to attempt his latest fundraising challenge for Bluebell Wood hospice after finding out that Lisa Lax-Harding, the head of housekeeping at the rehab centre, has a son called Finlay who is on a respirator there and needs constant care, day and night.
Lax-Harding said: “Coming to Bluebell Wood means we can get a good night’s sleep and know Finlay is being well looked after by the care team.”
The hospice’s community fundraiser, Gail Parkin, said her team was “humbled” by David’s actions, adding: “Every penny that David raises will go a long way in helping these families to live with love and laughter, whether they have days, months or years left together.”
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