St Michael’s Marathon runner falls 13ft through a skylight
With just 10 days till the London Marathon, one of St Michael’s Fellowship runners fell 13ft through a warehouse skylight while at work and damaged his knee.
“When I took the call I was horrified,” said Hillary head of Fundraising. “Then he showed me the video of the skylight. To add to the shock, he said, ‘I’m still going to do the marathon.’ I didn’t think this was a good idea and told him, but he was still determined. I told him he needed to get professional advice and that if he couldn’t run, we would roll over his place and funding to next year.”
Sam Williams, 23 from Beckenham, has been fundraising and training hard with his friend Kieron. They chose to run for St Michael's Fellowship because Keirons mum works for the charity supporting vulnerable families and young parents.
'you need those knees in the future'
Sam’s next call was to Physiotherapist Jason Pinniger-Clare from Medi-Sport, who has been a practicing for 19 years, working with athletes from Team GB. After establishing that the doctors had given Sam the all clear and there were no underlying fractures or any musculoskeletal damage, Jason, who has run the Marathon four times, sat him down for a frank and honest conversation about the task ahead.
“I know how tough [the marathon] is and I basically said to him he’s not letting anyone down if he doesn’t run this race. Because it’s a long way and if there’s anything underlying that could cause him problems then he should pull out.
“You can always do it again. Its not life or death, the most important thing is to look after yourself. Because you need those knees in the future.”
The initial assessment revealed he had bone bruising which can take 2-3 months to get it to being pain free. And, some swelling. Jason told him, “It’s possible to do it, if you really want to, but we’ve got to chuck a lot of treatments at it.”
'I realised I was very lucky to be walking'
Sam’s on anti-inflammatory medication from the doctor and following a diet that with help reduce inflammation.
And he’s has taken the week off work to concentrate on improving his knee.
“I will do everything I can to be there on Sunday,” said Sam. “I am doing two physio sessions a day. In the morning I have ultra sound therapy and then I go back and we stretch it out.”
Even with these sessions, what does physio Jason think his chances of running are?
“He’s responding really well and he’s a really fit guy. It’s looking very positive.” Jason told us.
“And I would be under no illusion that if it wasn’t 100% at this stage. I’d be saying let’s just pull the plug on it, it’s not happening the way we need it to be happening.”
So, why is Sam so determined to try and compete?
“After the initial accident I was of the mind set I couldn’t do it. But then I realised I was lucky to be walking. Very lucky to come out unscathed and I just thought I can do this!” he told us.
“I don’t want to let people down. I feel like I have a duty, to everyone whose donated, to try my hardest to get my knee sorted for this marathon.”
Of course, everyone, from his physio to friends and family and staff at St Michael’s, have said this doesn’t matter. It’s his health that’s most important.
“I know but it’s not just that. I’ve already done all the hard work. I am really fit. I’ve been out 2 to 3 times a week,” he says before laughing and saying “Plus if I rolled it over to next year it would mean another 4 to 5 months of training. I don’t like running that much, there’s other things I’d rather be doing.”
If you would like to show your support for Sam please sponsor him on his fundraising page