A disabled man whose leg became trapped under his wheelchair during a charity mountain climb has thanked hospital staff for looking after him.
Video by Shaun Gash whilst at Raigmore Hospital
The 47-year-old was almost at the top of the mountain when he suddenly became aware his right leg had become trapped beneath his off-road wheelchair and had been smashing against the huge rocks, causing it to break.
He was carried to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness via an air ambulance, where he remained for two and a half weeks, before being transferred to Lancaster Infirmary on Saturday.
He returned home on Wednesday but he is still in the dark about whether he will have to have his leg amputated. He is now waiting on an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant at Royal Preston Hospital.
Doctors are still discussing options, but Shaun says he is grateful to all the staff who have looked after him.
He says: “I have been totally well looked after and had a great consultant at Raigmore.
“The staff and nurses have been amazing. Dr Beastall, my consultant, has been with me right the way through.
“I couldn’t ask for any more attention than what the staff at Raigmore have given me.
“We had some difficult conversations. Plan A was to save my leg and plan B was to lose my leg. I would have been happy with either.
"I was given different options at Lancaster now and final decision will be made soon. It is still broken and I have three options available, which will be discussed. It is still touch and go.
“The skin has been healing but not the fractures, so it is still touch and go, but I have blood supply which is good.
“I had a bad week when it first happened, with infections in my leg and bladder. I was on three different types of antibiotics but that has calmed down now. My leg had fractured and I had blisters all round my leg.
“The blisters were popped and the skin undeneath was red raw. Doctors restrapped my leg and kept an eye on it.
“It seems a scratch compared to breaking my back in a car crash in my 20s.
“I have been positive about it all and have had banter on social media about it. My wife Dawn has been visiting me but glad to be nearer to home now so my family and friends can visit.”
Shaun was climbing Ben Nevis in an off-road wheelchair to raise funds for Help For Heroes, Calvert Trust Exmoor, Back-Up Trust and George’s Legacy - a charity based in Hoghton to offer support and advice to bereaved parents. To donate to his appeal visit www.gofundme.com/rgk-no-fear-on-wheels-ben-nevis
The father-of-three adds: “We raised more than £3,000 which is amazing. We have reached the target, but I want to raise more to donate to the Lochbar mountain rescue team who helped as they did an amazing job.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who has sent their get well messages.”
Those who know Shaun are not surprised by Shaun’s determination and absolute outlook.
As a young man Shaun was always very active and adventurous, but a road accident in 1991 changed his life. He sustained major injuries, breaking his shoulder, ribs, puncturing his lungs and breaking his spine at T5/6 vertebrae leaving him completely paralysed from his chest down and at the time only given two days to live.
Shaun spent months in Southport Spinal Injuries hospital and a further three-and-a-half years in a rehab home for spinal injuries where he met a nurse called Dawn, who is now his wife. They have three children, Sharna, Kyle and Niamh.
Determined not to let his injuries change his life, he has completed two UK Obstacle Course Racing Championships and was the first paraplegic to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching 16,700 feet before having to evacuate. Last year, he took part in a Twenty 20 Challenge, pushing himself in his wheelchair from Lands End to John O’Groats.
Shaun has become a motivational speaker, inspiring others in his situation to achieve their goals.
To donate to his appeal visit http://www.gofundme.com/rgk-no-fear-on-wheels-ben-nevis