RUNNERS are raising cash for a diabetes sufferer who decided to have his leg amputated so he could run again.
Loyd Durham, who has suffered with type 1 diabetes for 20 years, needs a specially- fitted blade to allow him to run once more.
Friends and runners have been clubbing together to raise funds for a blade – typically costing up to £7,000 – so Loyd, 41, can live his dream.
A fundraising drive has seen over £1,500 of the £3,500 target raised in three days.
Gosport Road Runners member Loyd, who only left hospital on Monday after having the operation, said he had never felt so good.
‘I’m absolutely buzzing after the operation – I haven’t felt this good in years and am feeling positive about the future,’ he said.
‘I see the amputation as a positive thing and I’m now much better than I was before. I’m now enabled not disabled and will be more mobile than I was before.
‘I have no regrets about having the operation at all.
‘My leg would have deteriorated to such an extent that I would have suffered further complications.’
Loyd, of Broadsands Drive, Gosport, said he would have had the operation before after his situation became so dire following a bike accident in 2016. Complications following that crash led to him suffering charcot disease – a serious foot condition often brought on by diabetes.
‘I fell off my bike a couple of years ago and injured my leg which then progressed to charcots disease which meant I lost my mobility,’ he said.
‘From that instant I knew that if I couldn’t use my leg then I wanted to go ahead with the amputation. It took around two years to persuade the NHS to go ahead with it.’
He added: ‘My running style is going to change and I’ll probably be a bit slower but I’m just looking forward to competing again and getting back out there with the running community,’ he said.
‘Everyone has been amazing in helping me – it’s a fantastic amount of money that has been raised. I feel so blessed with all the support I’ve had - not just the money but the physical and emotional support as well.’
Friend Nick Carter, of Absolute Running, said Loyd deserved to be given another chance to run.
‘The diabetes has taken its toll on Loyd and recently his bone became brittle leaving him in a lot of pain and having to wear a boot, which has meant he couldn’t run,’ Nick said.
‘After telling the NHS he wanted his leg amputated they agreed to operate and give him a prosthetic foot but to be able to run again he needs a blade.
‘The support we’ve received so far has been amazing with celebrities like Dame Kelly Holmes and Nick Knowles getting involved on Twitter to help out.
‘Getting the blade will help give Loyd a new lease of life.
Loyd hopes to run the Golden Mile race on June 17.
An event on March 3 at Park Tavern in Gosport will see band the Startled Monkeys donating their fee.