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Amputee takes part in Great South Run

David Williamson
David Williamson Image credit: portsmouth.co.uk

How are you spending next weekend…Relaxing in front of the telly, spending a couple of hours taking the kids to football practice, Sunday roast down the local?

Chances are you won’t be doing anything as near energetic as David Williamson (pictured above) who is competing in the South Run raising cash for a charity close to his heart.

The 39-year-old amputee, who has Ehlers Danlos syndrome, is taking part in the event to support his buddy Robert Ayling.

David will be conquering the 10-mile course in his wheelchair to raise money for Richard, from Havant, who relies on his family to move his around the house as his agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) stops him from leading an independent life.

The chair lift Richard currently uses is uncomfortable and cause reflux, what he really needs is a £14,000 lift, but as you can appreciate – that’s pretty bloody pricey!

When David, from Cowplain, heard about Richard’s story he was only too happy to support his cause by entering the South Run aiming to raise £5,000.

The budding athlete told The News: ‘When I met Rob's sister Elizabeth a few years back, she spoke about him with such love that it just made me want to help him.

‘I felt connected on a personal level despite never meeting him and that stayed with me for two years, until I had an opportunity to help.

‘They’re an incredible family and I felt humbled to be giving the chance to make a difference.’

David has five Great South Runs already under his belt, captained a sitting volleyball team and won the HBSA Disabled Sportsperson of the Year in 2017 and 2018, so we have no doubts he’ll finish the race this weekend in an impressive time.

Elizabeth said: ‘We are so grateful and appreciative of David’s gesture.

‘Robert’s conditions mean he is in need of 24/7 care and assistance.

‘We want to make his life as pain-free and easy as possible but the way he is being taken to his bedroom is causing unnecessary stress and discomfort.

‘With the lift and hoists, it will be a lot better and will make a big difference to his life.’

Richard’s family were given a grant when he was younger so they could have a downstairs bedroom fitted, but the noise outside the window kept him awake at night.

His family carried him to a quieter bedroom upstairs, but now at the age of 25, he’s ‘a bit’ heavier than he was as a nipper.

As they already accepted a grant when he was younger Richard’s folks cannot make another claim.

His mum Glynnis said: ‘This lift instalment will be so much better on his body and a total revolution to his life because he has been in so much physical pain.’

A Just Giving page raised £1,060 towards the lift for Robert in 2018.