Overcoming a broken neck for challenge

Pictured is Ben Craig who is organising a charity ball, to help raise funds for a charity climb up Mt Kilamanjaro.
Pictured is Ben Craig who is organising a charity ball, to help raise funds for a charity climb up Mt Kilamanjaro.

A man from Daventry who broke his neck in a skiing accident will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro later this year.

Ben Craig grew up in Daventry, and is the son of Dr Alistair Craig and Patti Gardiner who worked at the Abbey House Medical Practice.

He said: “On February 20, 2012, I had a serious skiing accident while on holiday in France, breaking and dislocating my neck.

“As I lay motionless in the snow I thought my life was over. I have always had an active job and played sport all of my life, playing for Northampton Saints as a younger man, and to think I would never walk again was my worst nightmare.

“I was taken by helicopter to hospital and immediately operated on. Over the next week, to my great joy, the use of my legs and arms slowly returned. I returned to the UK and spent a month in a rehab hospital in Leamington Spa.

“I have since had two operations, a sizeable amount of metal inserted in my neck, huge amounts of physio and occupational therapy referrals and have luckily made a full recovery.

“Seventy-five per cent of people with my type of injury have a lasting paralysis. Having come so close to being one of those I am determined to do whatever I can to help those less fortunate than I.

“Along with a team of 11 others, I am climbing Kilimanjaro in October to raise money for The Back-Up Trust which is a charity which supports people who have had spinal cord injuries like mine.

“Because I thankfully made a full and rapid recovery I never needed their help but they transform the lives of many, enabling them to live more independently and still take part in exciting events.

“They also support the families and, having had the curtain lifted on the whole world of such injuries and consequent disabilities, my family and I know how very much that is needed.”

As part of the fundraising drive Mr Craig’s team is organising a charity ball on October 4 at Highgate House in Creaton.

Ben’s Backup Ball will be a black tie ball and auction, with a reception drink, three-course meal with wine, and a live band. Tickets are £50, or £450 if you take a table of 10. Sponsors are being sought for elements of the ball, such as the reception drinks or one of the courses.

Tickets to the ball are available by calling 07825 076961. To sponsor Mr Craig or for more information head to www.justgiving.com/BenCraig.