Mansfield dad who thought he would never walk again completes 190 mile charity walk

A Mansfield dad has fought a paralysing condition to complete a 190 mile coast to coast charity trek.

James Hart is putting his feet up after finishing a gruelling coast-to-coast walk across England, from Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast, to raise money for others who have transverse myelitis.

The 33-year-old who once feared he might never walk again took 14 days to traverse the Yorkshire Dales, the York moors and eventually reach Robin Hood’s Bay, with his wife Beckie as support.

He has raised around £1,600 for the Transverse Myelitis Society and hopes the final tally will exceed £2,200.

He said: “We actually enjoyed the walk and we had some really nice weather, although it was windy at times. It was very tough going up the hilly areas like the mountains in the Lake District.”

James was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy.

However, when he thought he was on the mend he woke up with a numbness down his left-hand side, which spread.

He was then diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which caused nerve damage and partial paralysis – leading to doctors to tell him he only had a 30 per cent chance of ever walking again.

James, a former care manager, said: “It was a complete shock as I’ve got two young children. One day I could walk and the next I couldn’t.

“Emotionally it affects you, as you do think it can’t be happening to you and why did it happen and will it happen again.

“With doctors not knowing much about it you are kept guessing at what will happen which makes it worse.”

In his youth James was a keen golfer – and physiotherapists advised him that golf might help speed up his recovery.

After a year-and-a-half of physiotherapy he has returned to Coxmoor Golf Club , Coxmoor Road, Sutton, where he now plays off a seven handicap and reached the semi finals of the club’s match play competition.