What's Happening in Guildford blog

Paralysed man in virtual cycle ride

A man who is paralysed from the elbows down is pedalling the distance of Guildford to Glasgow thanks to clever technology.

Dan Eley, 33, of Witley, is taking part in a 550-mile virtual ride to raise money for Spinal Research after being paralysed in a diving accident in 2010.

He is using a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) bike to take part in the event. The machine uses electrical pulses to stimulate his leg muscles into a cycling motion. It is expected to take him around four months to complete the distance, cycling the equivalent of seven miles a day.

Dan broke his neck while working as a teaching in Colombia. He bought the FES bike to stop his muscles from deteriorating.

He hopes to raise £10,000 for Spinal Research, and is also encouraging other people like himself to take part in their own virtual events.

He added: “Spinal Research’s work offers real hope to people living with spinal cord injuries.

“Sponsoring me to do this challenge will help them to continue their vital research into restoring feeling and movement to spinally injured people.”

Dan, who lives at the Leonard Cheshire home in Godalming following intensive hospital treatment, added: “The time following my accident could be described as the most hellish of my life.

“I was taken to a hopelessly under-equipped public clinic in a village in the middle of the Colombian jungle where I spent three days fighting for breath and facing death several times before being transferred to a private hospital in Bogota.”


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