A father of two who suffered a devastating brain injury is aiming to walk sixty-four miles in less than two days to raise funds for Sheffield brain charity Neurocare.
Michael Norris, aged 31, from Glen Parva fractured his skull due to a fall more than ten years ago, resulting in trauma to his brain which required a lifesaving operation and weeks of rehabilitation.
To thank the doctors and nurses who helped saved his life, Michael plans to walk from his house in Leicester to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in less than 24 hours.
Michael said: “My story began ten years ago. I fell in the street and banged the right side of my head. I was completely unresponsive when paramedics arrived and after being transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, I was put into induced coma. My life was in the balance.
“After six days in a coma, where I remember hearing friendly female voices with a funny Northern accent, I woke. I was told I’d suffered severe brain trauma consisting of multiple brain injuries sustained from major impact to the right side of my skull.
“To relieve the pressure in my brain I needed an operation called a Cranioplasty, which removed the entire front part of my skull and placed them inside my abdomen wall for preservation.
“Recovery in the first month was hard, the dexterity was virtually gone from my left side and I had to learn to walk properly again. But thanks to my physical fitness being very good due to training for the Royal Marines, I then improved quickly.
“I was only in hospital for seven weeks in total, but did need to return after three months to reattach my skull plates. Throughout both stays, my entire family visited regularity and were taken care of as well as me and informed of my progress throughout.
“The doctors and nurses were so helpful, caring and sociable. Above all they were professional and did a great job of everything. I know we expect this from our NHS but until you experience it for yourself it’s hard to grasp.
“The Royal Hallamshire Hospital is at the heart of neuroscience development and research, but the area still needs donations to help continue to deliver medical studies and create new ways of survival. I owe my life to not only the medical staff at the hospital but to all of the fundraisers out there. It’s now time to do my bit.
“Sixty-four miles on my own is a huge challenge to undertake – but I want to push my mental barriers. Neurocare needs as much money as possible to continue ground breaking results. I want to walk into the hospital as a product of its success.
“Google estimates 22.5 hours to complete walking. Taking into account rest stops and any problems, I want to achieve the distance between 24 and 48 hours. I’ll be leaving my house at 1am to navigate Leicester in the dark as I know the area much better.
“I want to raise £10k so please consider donating. The equipment that costs so much money to develop may save your life one day, just like it did mine. Dr Thomas Carrol and staff I owe you my life. Thank you.”
To donate to Michael’s walk and enhance the care of patients affected by brain injury and disease, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-norris64