Paralysed man walking 112 miles in robotic suit for the NHS
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A paralysed Guinness World Record holder will be challenging himself to walk 224,000 steps this month for the NHS using a robotic suit.
Simon Kindleysides, 36, from Blofield, is aiming to complete four miles a day on a variety of terrains in his ReWalk exoskeleton - which he has to operate himself by tilting his arms which activates his hips.
The father-of-three, who became the fastest man to complete the London Marathon independently in a robotic walking suit in 2018, is doing his latest challenge for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity as a thank you to hospital staff.
He said: "I want to give something back. They have saved my life numerous times after I had seizures from a brain tumour."
Mr Kindleysides was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder and a glioma brain tumour in 2013, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
The record breaker will be doing the 112-mile walk, consisting of 8,000 steps a day, with no support due to him wanting to stick to coronavirus social distancing rules.
He added: "Getting out of the house is important for me at the moment because I'm struggling mentally with lockdown. I'm excited and anxious about it.
"The thought of walking four miles a day is hard. It is going to be gruelling. It is going to put some pressure on my body.
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"I want to show my children that you should not give up. If you are going through dark times you can help always help someone who is worse off than you.
"They think I'm crazy but I'm determined. If someone says I should not do something, I'll do it anyway."
Mr Kindleysides said it was hard work operating the £100,000 robotic suit, which weighs 25 kilograms and was bought for him by an anonymous benefactor.
The suit he completed the marathon in 36 hours and 46 minutes was on loan at the time.
During this month's challenge he will wear Wellington boots for muddy paths, which he said was an interesting experience, and an umbrella will be attached to his suit with a cable tie during wet weather.
"If people see a robotic man flying through the air like Mary Poppins they will know the wind has picked up," Mr Kindleysides added.
He wants to raise £2,000 and to donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/walkingforthenhs