Paul defies his back pain and abseils for QA

Paul Bedford

Paul Bedford

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Small clinics often get overlooked when it comes to charity events, but Paul Bedford aimed to change this when he organised his own.

Paul, from Gordon Road, Fareham, abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower to raise money for the pain management clinic at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

The clinic staff helped him deal with the chronic back pain he developed from a spinal operation he had 10 years ago.

And to pay them back, Paul decided to do the abseil.

He says: ‘The experience was unbelievable; it was completely outside my comfort zone.

‘At ground level, the wind wasn’t too strong and the cheers from everyone that had turned out to support me created a great atmosphere.

‘But once I went up 300 feet and stepped outside the tower, I thought “oh my goodness, should I be doing this?”

‘Then I remembered that hundreds of people do it every year to raise money for causes close to their heart.

‘It was the least I could do to give something back to Dr Nick Campkin, Deborah Hunt and the rest of the team at the Pain Clinic who have helped me and the extremely generous people who supported the abseil.’

A total of £1,028 was raised which will support the education and training of healthcare staff at the clinic.

Paul Morgan, head of fundraising at QA Hospital, says: ‘What Paul Bedford has achieved is beyond words when you consider how difficult an abseil is for anyone, let alone someone coping with as much pain as Paul.

‘We are eternally grateful to him.’

Paul adds that the abseil was important to promote the hard work of the pain management clinic and to prove to himself that he could beat his pain.

‘I did the abseil to spread the message that even if you have chronic pain, you can still live your life to the full.

‘While the spinal injections and exercises certainly help, I have found that the key to coping with my pain is positive thinking.

‘I am proud to say that despite my spinal injury I have never taken a day off work.

‘The Pain Clinic have helped me to stay in my job and to stay positive.

‘I have also been lucky with my employers, who have been incredibly supportive since the operation.

‘An important thing that businesses can do to support employees recovering from injury is to be patient.’

For his next fundraising project, Paul plans to take three months of canoeing lessons so that he can race around the Isle of Wight next year.

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