Paul Ellis isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. In fact, this double amputee seeks them out.
Almost 30 years ago, Paul had a terrible fall that led to a life-changing spinal injury. He was left unable to stand for more than a few minutes before needing to rest.
With such limited mobility, he chose to have a double amputation and was soon fitted with prosthetic legs. Since then, the father of two has gone on plenty of adventures, including recently climbing Scotland’s Ben Nevis mountain with a group of 10 people who have had amputations.
But his biggest challenge yet was his climb to the peak of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, and it was all to raise money to send children with limb differences on vacation!
Paul began the treacherous 3,560-foot hike with determination and grit, making his way to the peak by crawling on his hands and knees. The 56-year-old wore thick gardening gloves and protective kneepads, but the path was far from smooth.
“I’ve got a few blisters on my stumps, blisters on my hands, you’re putting your wrist down all the time so my wrists got quite sore,” he said.
Despite his injuries, Paul had the best support team he could have asked for! Along with constant encouragement, they went out of their way to get him water when he ran out and offered him food whenever he was hungry.
“But with all the support of the people on the mountain saying, ‘Come on you can do it,’ that spurs you on,” Paul said.
With 9 miles ahead of him, Paul started off strong, completing the first 3 miles in three hours. The final 2 miles were the toughest, taking him a whopping nine hours.
Despite how difficult the journey was, when they finally reached the summit (where they got to rest for the night), everyone agreed that it was more than worth it!
“I enjoyed it actually,” Paul said, “it was a good day.”
Thanks to Paul’s incredible 13-hour effort, he raised over $4,000. That means six children with amputations and their families will be able to go on a dream vacation to Tenerife, Spain!
“It’s a challenge and that’s why I wanted to do it — to raise awareness and funds for the kids,” Paul said. “It’s a hard challenge but one that’s worth doing.”
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