Recovering quadriplegic men complete Everest summit on their staircases

Two recovering quadriplegic men have completed a staircase summit to Everest to raise more than £36,000 for charity.

Steven Dowd, from London, joined Ed Jackson in the Isolation Everest Challenge, and spent 36 hours summiting the world’s highest mountain on his staircase.

Mr Dowd, 41, told the PA news agency: “I love a challenge and this was something that I had always wanted, to climb a mountain. But I had always wanted to climb a mountain after my injury to see if I could do it, push my boundaries.

“This was an incredible challenge and I wanted to see if I had it in me, and I really wanted to support Ed.”

It took him 46,468 steps, or 3,881 flights, to reach the summit within his house.

It took him 36 hours to complete his climb, divided into 12-hour chunks, to mirror the shifts done by NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Mr Jackson and Mr Dowd suffer from spinal cord injuries and said they wanted to give back to the NHS that had “saved” their lives.

The money raised will be divided equally between the Forever Friends Appeal, the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation — of which both men are ambassadors — and the Neverest Orthopaedics Foundation, which aims to build a spinal unit in Chitwan, Nepal.

Mr Dowd recovered his mobility, and ability to walk, through an experimental clinical trial and pioneering surgery at St George’s Hospital, which was funded by Wings for Life.

Mr Jackson began his final climb to  the summit at 4.30am on Friday morning, having spent the night camping in a tent in his living room.

He told his followers this morning: “I have woken up to the news we have raised £35,000, which is just the spur I need to get me going.”

Mr Dowd, who was paralysed after a cycling accident four years ago, said: “I still have limb impairment in all four limbs. I feel like I am really tightly bound and I still have spasms, like being in a cramp but through my whole body and I struggle with some of my walking.

“Ed decided that rather than climb the walls [during lockdown] he was going to climb his parent’s stairs and I took him up on such a crazy challenge.”

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