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25/04/2013 12:00:00
Lecturer defies medics to tackle charity race

AN EDINBURGH Napier lecturer is embarking on a mammoth charity-cycle, 25 years after being told he’d never walk again.

David Stevenson, who teaches Marketing, was a student at the University, when in 1988 he broke his back falling 40 feet from a cliff in a climbing accident. He was rushed to hospital where his family were told to expect the worst.

David said: “Doctors told me that my spinal cord was lying across the shattered bone of the vertebrae I had crushed in the fall. At the time they were 99% sure I was going to be paralysed and told my family that I would be going to the Paraplegic unit in Musselburgh.

“I opted to have an operation to screw scaffolding to my spine, which was a new technique and it proved successful. I was told I’d missed paralysis by a whisker.”

Surgeons inserted two metal plates held by eight screws into David’s shattered back. Remarkably, after wearing a back brace for eight months, he managed to make a full recovery, going on to play volleyball for Loughborough University where he also completed a MSc.

In June, David will cycle from London to Paris, travelling 520km over 3 days in order to raise money for Stoke Mandeville Spinal Foundation.

David said: “I have the surgeons in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to thank for not being paralysed and for being in the position to be able to undertake this challenge today.

“Stoke Mandeville is one of the 'official' charities of the event but there is still a personal link, as the hardware and technique used to repair my back came from there.”

To sponsor David visit his fundraising page here.

To find about more about the race visit the event's website here. 

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