IamA 24 year old paraplegic who broke his back whilst cycling from London to Croatia. This August I will handcycle from Belgium to Croatia to finish the trip. I also spent 20h over 10 weeks testing exo-skeletons. AMA.
In August 2011 between my second and final year at university i was cycling with friends from London to Croatia. I fell off my bicycle in Belgium, collapsing both my lungs and ending up paralysed. I spent four months in hospital rehabilitation before going back to university to finish my degree.
This August, nearly three years after my accident I will be finishing the trip. We will start in Liege hospital, where I had my eight hour surgery. We will then ride to the campsite where I broke my back. Eventually we will ride over the Alps / Dolomites and make our way to Croatia (finishing on the three year anniversary).
We will be doing this ride for Aspire, a charity who support people with spinal cord injuries. They provide grants, advice, training courses for people to go on to help them get back into work and various other things.
I also spent ten weeks as part of a study (two hours a week) testing out an exoskeleton called the rewalk. The aim of the study was to see if it is worth using exo-skeletons during rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI). So feel free to ask me about that as well.
I am happy to try and answer questions on anything, i guess relevant stuff would be: Bicycle touring, being in a wheelchair, the plans for the upcoming trip, exoskeleton stuff. Anything really.
Short video of my walking: http://www.smsf.org.uk/video1.htm I come in at around 2:05 to 3:20 – it was my first recorded interview, it is not great.
Album with ama proof and other pictures relating to my time in hospital: http://imgur.com/a/gNV2g
Fundraising page for the Aspire charity: https://www.justgiving.com/alex-b-t
Facebook page where I will be giving updates throughout the ride: https://www.facebook.com/Belgium2Croatia
Twitter (although I don’t really know how to use it and have no followers) https://twitter.com/Belgium2Croatia
/end of shameless plugs
Ask away – I am fairly active so I will try and get to every question, but it may take a while depending on how many there are.
Thanks everyone, the story made it to a paper!
And another! Printed in the metro today
Just finished filming with the BBC, a two minute video will be on the London news at 6:30 this evening.
The just giving page went from £2000 to £4600 today, none of this would have been possible without reddit, thanks everyone!
ONLY GONE AND FUCKING FINISHED THE TRIP :D £7500 raised