Mountain challenge for leg amputee

A HORRIFIC motorbike accident left Mike Buckley asking for his leg to be amputated, but today he is hoping to conquer one of the highest mountains in Britain.

A HORRIFIC motorbike accident left Mike Buckley asking for his leg to be amputated, but today he is hoping to conquer one of the highest mountains in Britain.

In May 2002, Mr Buckley was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries following a crash on the A140 at Pulham Market. After years of walking in pain he finally took the decision to have a below-the-knee amputation, and a prosthetic leg fitted in October.

It was a momentous and life-changing decision but one he has never regretted.

Mr Buckley, 44, of Regent Street, Maningtree, said: “After the accident I suffered with anxiety attacks about simple things like getting on a bus. The world seemed like a dangerous place to me.


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“I climbed back gradually over time, making myself face the things that scared me.

“I voluntarily walked into hospital and had my left leg amputated. I couldn't take the pain anymore. I asked to be awake on the operating table so I could take more control of my recovery and pain issues.”

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Mr Buckley said both the accident and the decision to amputate his leg had made him a stronger, happier, person.

He added: “The skills I've learnt because of what happened, are important. I like to live very differently now. I have met many people who have had more difficult problems than I had, but despite their disabilities, they have the most amazing energy and spirit. They have inspired me and I would like to inspire others.”

Thanks to his new zest for life, he has set up his own company Hypnotherapy Ipswich.

Mr Buckley will stretch himself to the limit today when he climbed the 1,085m mountain Snowdon.

He is being joined by joined by fellow below-the-knee amputees, Lee Munday, a 47-year-old teacher at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook and Paul Harris of Ely in Cambridgeshire, and prosthetics-experts Sarah Wilson and Laura Callan who helped him after his amputation.

He said: “It grew from a conversation and I thought - let's see if we can do it.”

“I'm thinking I'm mad now. It's going to be hellish - especially coming down.

“I did the Himalayas before my accident and that really screwed up my knees so I don't know what this will be like now.”

He is collecting cash for the East Anglian Sailing Trust, a charity which is encouraging him to train for sailing in the Paralympics in 2012 and has helped him for five years.

Mr Buckley has collected around £1,000 to help the charity's vital work, thanks to support from Alton Water Sports Centre and Fox's Marina as well as cafes and shops in the area.

n To support Mike e-mail mike@hypnotherapyipswich.com or call him on 01206 391745.

n Are you taking on the challenge of a lifetime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Snowdon

n Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales at 1,085m or 3,560ft.

n It is also known by its local Welsh Language name Yr Wyddfa or the Tomb.

n It has its own unique bio-diversity of plants and animals.

n Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors visit the mountain.

SOURCE: www.snowdon.com

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