News - 10th October 2018
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Overcoming adversity

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My 71-year-old dad was attacked by a crocodile in South Africa at the beginning of the year. He had extensive injuries to his chest, leg and arms. His injuries were complicated by severe sepsis and required 18 operations, including an above knee amputation. After 42 days of intensive care, he was discharged to the ward and then eventually to a rehabilitation unit and finally home.

 

Prior to the accident, he was doing parkrun every week and it was a great incentive during his recovery and rehabilitation to get back and do it again. Indeed, I remember him mouthing “I’m going to get better and parkrun again” through his tracheostomy from his ICU bed, bandages and tubes everywhere. Our response was something like, “Erm, okay then”.

 

Recently he completed his first parkrun in Johannesburg with his new prosthesis. It took an hour and a half and he finished with blisters on his stump… but he made it step by step. It’ll be the first of many.

 

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Family all over the world have started doing parkrun since then. Here in Auckland, my wife, kids and labrador manage to get to Cornwall Park most Saturdays and dedicate each completed parkrun to the strength it’s taken with my dad’s resilience and his positive attitude to life.

 

Graham Knottenbelt

Cornwall parkrunner

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