Paralysed Worthing veteran completes epic cycle challenge

An army veteran who suffered a brain injury in a motorbike crash, and was left paralysed down one side of his body, has completed an 874-mile cycle challenge on his 45th birthday.

Steve Boylan, a former Warrant Officer with the Royal Engineers, was 39 when he was involved in the near-fatal collision.

His active life changed completely and before coming to live at Care for Veterans in Worthing in December 2018, he was struggling to make progress.

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With the support of the hospital home’s physio team, Steve has pushed himself to complete his epic charity cycle, covering the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats on a static bike.

He has raised more than £1,187 for Care for Veterans and celebrations included a video call with former army colleagues and actor Christopher Timothy, who had met him on a previous visit to the home.

Steve said: “It was lovely to finish it and I’ve raised loads of money for charity. I liked doing it as it was good for me. I can’t walk but this will help me to get better.

“I decided to support Care for Veterans as the charity looks after people like me.”

Steve has been working in his challenge for some months and crossed the finish line on his birthday with the help of physiotherapists Vilma Gaucyte and Rob Wallace and occupational therapist technician Craig Burley, while his family was outside cheering him on.

Disabled veteran Steve Boylan with Care for Veterans physiotherapists Rob Wallace and Vilma Gaucyte as he celebrates with former army colleagues and actor Christopher Timothy via video call

Emma Curtis, lead physiotherapist, said: “I can say that Steve has absolutely loved his cycle challenge and now wants to set new cycling goals. He looks forward to his cycling a lot. The exercise helps with his psychological wellbeing, cardiorespiratory health, as well as rebuilding muscle strength in legs and arms and helping with weight loss.

“Setting himself this challenge has been a real motivation and we have been overwhelmed with the support he has received. We need to raise £1.9million each year to fund tailored and comprehensive care and rehabilitation programmes for our residents, which really help them to improve their quality of life.

“We are extremely grateful to Steve and so proud of his attitude and achievement, especially during a time when Covid restrictions have had such a huge impact on the number of activities and visitors our residents can enjoy.”