Friends of a man who was paralysed from the chest down by a rare spinal infection are rallying round to help him walk again.
Callum Hall, 20, of Yeadon, stepped on a sea urchin while on holiday in Greece and weeks later developed an abscess on his spine.
Doctors have told him it is unlikely he will get back on his feet again following the freak accident, but he is determined to prove them wrong and get his mobility back, no matter how long it takes.
He is appealing for help in buying the latest state-of-the-art equipment to help him regain movement in the crucial 18-month period following the onset of paralysis.
Callum, who is living back at home with his parents, is being supported in his fundraising by The Station pub in Guiseley where he used to be a barman. They have launched Operation Bambi to raise fund to buy crucial equipment.
Now friends from Northumbria University, where Callum was training to be a PE teacher, are organising a fundraising event at Ilkley Golf Club on Friday, March 29.
The golf event will start at noon, followed by a dinner with a charity auction. Sam Dale, who is co-ordinating the event, said they hoped to raise £1,000.
Callum described how he had suddenly gone from being fit and healthy to being paralysed. He said: “Sometimes things just happen to you that you can’t explain and you just have to deal with it.
“I was in hospital for four months, and after a month I just thought there is no point getting down about this. There are worse things that happen and you just need mind over matter.”
Callum has been told he is unlikely to walk again – but he has vowed to prove the medics wrong.
He stressed: “I won’t give in until I walk, even if it takes years. I have heard of people taking eight or ten years to recover, I just hope I am one of those people.
“I have been told that I won’t walk, but I want to walk and I will do it.”
Already the pub has been selling a fundraising ale; four members of staff will run the Leeds half marathon, and all the money raised from the Station Music Festival will go to the appeal.
Among the things Callum needs are an Easy Stand, which helps him to stand and reconnects the brain to the legs, and a Functional Electrical Stimulation bike to help maintain his leg muscles.
Ultimately, Callum wants to take part in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
To find out more, go to callumhalltrust.com or make a donation at the Station pub.