Tony O'Flaherty told he would never walk again completes Welsh Ironman endurance race in aid of Trinity Hospice
A man told he would never be able to walk again has completed the brutal Welsh Ironman endurance race in aid of hospice care.
Tony O'Flaherty, 51, of Wandsworth, was partially paralysed after falling 60ft while rock climbing in Spain 15 years ago.
He broke his back, fractured his skull, punctured his lung and contracted MRSA following his accident.
Originally told he would never walk again, and could even lose his leg, Mr O'Flaherty was determined to prove doctors wrong and following years of physiotherapy at St George's Hospital completed the gruelling triathlon event in Pembrokeshire, Wales, last month.
He was inspired to raise money for Trinity Hospice after encountering the work of the carers while working for his own elderly care business Home Instead, in Garrett Lane, Earlsfield.
He still walks with a limp and has no feeling in his legs, yet managed to complete the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26 mile run in 15 hours and 28 minutes.
Mr O'Flaherty said: "It was brutal, brutal - I was elated. They say the Welsh one is the toughest in Europe.
"The night before I was almost bottling it, I thought I have bitten off more than I can chew."
The fundraiser kept his plans a secret from family and friends, as he knew any negative comments would be enough to dissuade him.
He said: "I was told not to run because I have had so much physio, don't do anything that is going to push it.
"I thought I know what I can do, they kind of project it onto you that you can't do it. I know I can do it."
He has raised £700 for Trinity Hospice so far, and is keeping the target open to raise as much as he possibly can.
To make a donation visit justgiving.com/Tony-O-Flaherty