The Clark family Amputee Snowdon Challenge 2018
Family climbing Snowdon for amputee charity for STEEL BONES because they are an amazing amputee charity
Paul Clark, 40, aims to conquer the mountain after 24 operations on his hips and legsand is calling on both civilian and military amputees to get involved.
A father-of-three aims to climb to the summit of Mount Snowdon on the two year anniversary of losing his left leg.
Paul Clark, 40, from Mildenhall, had his leg amputated above the knee after a operation lead to a bone infection.
The former mechanic has been through 23 operations on his hips and legs during his life and faces hip replacement surgery just a few weeks before his climb.
He will be joined in the Snowdon challenge by his wife, three children and a team of fellow amputees.
Paul was born with a dislocated hip that has lead to two hip replacements and faces another in January or February.
After surgery in November 2014, he developed a bone infection which saw him in and out of hospitals in London, Cambridge and Suffolk.
“It was horrible”, Paul explained. “For what I went through for two years, I don’t regret the amputation.
“They tried antibiotics and nothing was killing the infection.”
On May 30, 2016, Paul had his leg removed and began to adapt to a very different way of life.
“It completely changed my life, my kids’ life,” he said. “But I’m not one for sitting around doing nothing. I’ve always been an active person.
“Three days after the amputation I was in the physio gym. Every day while I was in hospital, I was up, washed, breakfasted and down to the physio gym.”
Paul admits that he does get “frustrated” at times by the changes in his life, but is given “amazing” support by his wife Sarah, and children Ella, 10, Summer, eight and Riley, seven.
“When they first saw me in hospital and saw my leg gone, it hit them really hard.” said Paul.
“It was a shock to them, but they adapted to it. They help me. I really can’t fault them.
“Sarah’s been amazing. I don’t know where I would be without her support.”
Further help has come from the charity Steel Bones, that provides support for amputees and their families.
The charity says there are 5,000 amputations taking place in the UK every year that can leave people in a “very lonesome situation”.
The organisation found grants for Paul to start a college photography course and buy camera equipment.
Paul said: “Over the last year they helped me so much, it’s unbelievable. With amputation you don’t know who to turn to to get help from. They’ve been a real big help for my whole family.”
To say thank you Paul’s family decided to take on Mount Snowdon in Wales to raise money for Steel Bones.
“Snowdon is something that me and the wife wanted to do. [We said] let’s do it for Steel Bones.
“Some people said I was mad but all of a sudden they said: ‘We will join you’. There’s a whole lot of us doing it.
“It’s a challenge, I’m going up on crutches.”
Paul estimates around 30 people, half of whom will be amputees, will take part in the Snowdon climb on May 30 to raise £2,000.
I put the idea on the Steel Bones Facebook page and was overwhelmed by the number of other amputees from around the UK who wanted to join me on this challenge and I now have a great team of around 30 people, including 5 children joining me in climbing Snowdon.
Steel Bones is a voluntary charity for amputees and their families, which works across the UK to connect the amputee community, create friendships and provide a proactive support network by giving latest news on stump health, promoting healthy lifestyles, signposting useful services, experts and sports clubs along with providing flexible careers opportunities. The key focus for Steel Bones is offering support to new amputees, and their families – offering the guidance and companionship that they so often need, at often the most traumatic time. There are 5,000 new amputees each year in the UK.
My involvement within the charity has given me some amazing opportunities and I am so inspired by the number of amputees that have decided to join me on this quest. Climbing Snowdon was a personal goal of mine before my amputation and feel it is a great way to achieve my own personal goals whilst raising funds for the charity that has helped me so much.
Please help me raise as much as we can so Steel Bones can continue to support amputees and their families around the UK along with amputee awareness. Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. You can view the team page at the bottom of this page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
To sponsor Paul visit the fundraising webpage.