Courage of Sean
COURAGEOUS Sean Hinton is heading for the top of the world just two years on from fearing that he would lose a leg.After battling back to fitness since shattering his leg in a freak training accident, he is to take on Mount Everest.
By MARK BULSTRODE
COURAGEOUS Sean Hinton is heading for the top of the world just two years on from fearing that he would lose a leg.
After battling back to fitness since shattering his leg in a freak training accident, he is to take on Mount Everest.
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Firefighter Sean, 31, suffered a double leg-break after falling 28 feet from a fire service training tower in August 2000 – and doctors feared that they would have to amputate.
Now the former St Alban's High School pupil, who grew up in Ashcroft Road and later lived in Waterloo Road, Ipswich, before moving to Malvern, is set to embark on the trip of a lifetime as he treks through Nepal and Tibet to reach the base camp of Mount Everest.
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He flies out to Katmandu on March 16 to begin his 16-day trek, which will take him 17,000ft above sea level.
He said: "We stay at base camp for a couple of days but I am a bit too adventurous for that so I am going to go a bit further up."
Climbing Mount Everest had always been one of his burning ambitions as a child – so when he found out that he could realise this dream, he jumped at the chance.
He said: "It looked like they would have to amputate my leg but thank God they didn't. I wanted to prove a point because I was a Royal Marine for five years and went all around the world, so I was quite fit.
"My two legs had taken me all though that, but now I needed something else to challenge me to prove to myself that I could still do it."
Despite undertaking a rigorous training schedule, Sean, who has a six-inch metal plate and nine screws in his left leg, still suffers pain from his horrific injuries.
He said: "The pains come and go. I did try running for a bit but the pain was too much. But steady walks and climbing I can do because it is not impact work."
The accident still haunts Sean and the memories are as clear as ever.
He said: "It was like slow motion and time stood still. We were doing a training exercise and I was in the process of testing my weight on the main line that was holding me."
"I lent back and just kept falling. It was such a slow fall that the locks didn't hold me. I managed to grab the rope on the way down but then hit the floor."
He was air lifted to Cheltenham Hospital after the incident, which happened at Malvern Fire Station. But matters became complicated when he suffered a blood clot in his leg.
Four months in plaster and one year off work followed – a period of immense frustration for Sean who had enjoyed a very active lifestyle.
He first got into mountaineering as youngster, growing up in Ipswich as a member of the 12th Ipswich Scout Group. He moved to Malvern four years ago to become a fire fighter, but plans to move back to Ipswich in the near future to be with his friends and family.
He hopes to raise £3,000 for Barnado's from his trek and is determined to complete his adventure.
"I hope my leg will stand up," said Sean. "But I will hop to get there if I have to."
To sponsor Sean call 01684 560146 or 07790 639858.