Some of you may have seen this inspirational story about Paul Stewart’s IronSpine Challenge on Daybreak this morning, we at HomeCareDirect did and wanted to share it with you all.


The IronSpine Challenge takes Paul through three weeks of gruelling physical events a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle, a 26.2 mile walk and then 1 cliff-face climb. This will truly test his endurance and spirit, especially as the climb will take him back to the mountain that broke him!

Four years ago Paul fell a terrifying 200 feet down La Plagne, a mountain in the French Alps, after being thrown off by an avalanche, breaking his back, the fall initially threatened his life and has changed it forever. In the fall Paul sustained a spinal cord injury which left him partially paralysed and he was told he would never walk again.

Today, Paul can walk with the aid of sticks. He has limited ability from the waist down and remains totally paralysed below the thighs with no feeling or movement in his knees, calves and feet. When Paul dreamed up this challenge, he had not walked more than one mile or cycled more than 10 miles since his accident.

Paul does not know if he can meet this challenge but he is facing it head-on with months of training and planning. Despite being told in December 2008 that he would never walk again his determination and commitment fuels his belief that he will meet the challenge.

Paul’s IronSpine Challenge includes four very physical challenges, which doctors would then have said was simply impossible. Every mile Paul will walk or cycle is a huge achievement.

His IronSpine Challenge will start at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where Paul had six months of intense physiotherapy following his accident; his journey to La Plagne first sees him undertake a demanding ironman challenge through the heart of London. Paul will then return to the 200 foot cliff where his fall happened. You can see full details of Paul’s gruelling 15 Day IronSpine Challenge itinerary here.

The goal of this amazing challenge is to raise vital funds for research into spinal cord repair and over the three week IronSpine Challenge Paul will visit spinal injury centres along his route raising awareness and funds as he walks through local communities.

At HomeCareDirect we think this is an amazing and inspirational story showing what can be attempted and achieved through rehabilitation, commitment and self-determination. We wish Paul all the best with the IronSpine Challenge and this incredible story has touched us all.

If you’d like to share your thoughts or stories with us please get in touch with us here.