A determined woman managed to complete a gruelling 10k endurance race – with a severely broken ankle – by wearing a hi-tech peg-leg.
Emma Tysoe, 43, from Leamington Spa, was supported by a team of friends and runners when she took part in the Wolf Run event earlier this month, navigating a series of man-made and natural obstacles over a seriously demanding course.
Adventure-seeker Emma broke her ankle in June when she fell awkwardly while bouldering and spent a week in hospital waiting for surgery to insert two screws into her foot.
When she was sent home to recover under strict instructions not to bear any weight, she became so fearful of crutches that she didn’t move for three weeks.
‘I tried crutches but I kept falling over and injuring myself,’ says Emma. ‘I became too scared to move, so I literally just stayed on the sofa all day, every day, apart from when my husband took me out at weekends in a wheelchair we hired.
‘I got so depressed that I couldn’t do anything – I was in a big, black hole.
‘I had 10 weeks with my leg in a cast ahead of me, followed by several more weeks wearing a special boot, and time has never moved more slowly. I just couldn’t get my positivity back.’
Emma was gutted at the thought of missing the Wolf Run – a quarterly event that she hasn’t missed since 2014. So she was willing to try anything to get through the course – even with her dodgy ankle.
‘If you complete four Wolf Runs in a year, one in each season, you get Alpha Wolf status,’ explains Emma. ‘This year was going to be my fifth in a row as an Alpha Wolf and I was really upset that I’d lose my status.
‘I was telling my friend that I was going to cancel, and he persuaded me to give it a go. Having something to aim for really kept me going.’
Emma completed the run wearing an iWALK2.0, which is a special hands-free crutch that enables people with lower leg injuries or illnesses to stay mobile.
It’s a medically-approved device and it basically functions like a hi-tech peg-leg, allowing users to walk freely and reclaim the use of their arms and hands.
‘A friend of mine is an amputee and he’s used the special crutch before. I decided to get one and it completely changed my recovery. And it had a real impact on my mental well-being.’
On the day of the race, Emma was nervous but the sound of people cheering her on kept her motivated.
‘I took each obstacle as it came and I loved it, we had such a good laugh,’ she says. ‘I brought a speaker with me so we could listen to music as I knew it would take a while to get round. It was hard going uphill and navigating ropes but I just kept going.’
Against the odds, Emma made it over the finish line in just under six hours and clocked up her 23rd Wolf Run in five years.
‘It was an incredible day and my determination to finish combined with the support I received along the way kept me going,’ says Emma.
‘I’m so glad I did it. It was an amazing day and I had an incredible sense of achievement. It was just what I needed to boost myself back up mentally.
‘You’re almost back to normal when you’re wearing the crutch, you’ve got the use of your legs back and you can just get on with and enjoy your life.’
The iWALK2.0 was first invented by a Canadian farmer who broke his foot but still needed to work. He was annoyed that there weren’t any better alternatives to crutches, so he took to his workshop and built something for himself.
Source: Read Full Article