A man who was left needing a wheelchair with a serious brain injury after an unprovoked attack has overcome all the odds to complete an epic charity bike challenge.
Kile Hughes’ life was transformed when he was assaulted in March 2008, and he and his family say they don’t know what they would’ve done without the help and support of prominent brain injury charity Headway.
That’s why the 26-year-old, from Stockport, decided he had to do something to give back and came up with an inventive way to raise charity cash.
With help from physiotherapists who helped him make massive developments both physically and mentally, Kile cycled the equivalent 56.4 miles from his home in Stockport to the Headway offices in Blackpool. He carried out the feat over two days on his specialised Motomed bike, which allows him to cycle from his wheelchair.
Kile, who uses hand gestures and aids to communicate said: “The impact (of the assault) on my day to day life has made me unable to walk, talk and feed or wash myself. Before, I used to love all sports, especially cycling and fishing. It’s been difficult not being able to help with my nieces and nephews.
It was painful at times but I had my family and friends motivate me. I would definitely do it again. I’m already thinking about what other fundraising activities I can do next.
“Headway has really helped me and my family so I decided I wanted to take my rehabilitation a step further and give something back to them. The fact I can give back to Headway has inspired me. I wanted to raise money to support them because they helped me and others in my position.
“The training involved strengthening my legs. I had support from my dietician and physiotherapist. It was painful at times but I had my family and friends motivate me. I would definitely do it again. I’m already thinking about what other fundraising activities I can do next”.
Kile’s mum Sharon, 53, who helped with around the clock care for her son as simple day-to-day tasks were made impossible after the attack said the help she received from Headway was invaluable.
“We were devastated,” she said. “For a young lad he was really family-orientated, always doing stuff for other people.
“Headway helped me with benefits when I gave up work to care for Kile. I don’t know what I’d have done without them”.
Kile has been living in an adapted bungalow for two years now and has come on leaps and bounds.
Sharon added: “I’m unbelievably proud of him. The doctors said we’d see an improvement for the first year after the accident, then he’d plateau and every year after that he’d deteriorate but it’s been the exact opposite.
“He’s not let it hold him back. He has a specialised bike but you can see that it’s his effort, not the bike that’s doing it”.
Damian Hodkinson, a court of protection lawyer at Slater and Gordon has been working with Kile for many years helping him access suitable accommodation and deal with his financial affairs. Keen to support his charitable efforts he said: “Kile is a young man who has faced considerable difficulties through his life and yet he has somehow managed to maintain a fantastic sense of humour, a cheerful disposition, and a determination that is an inspiration to all those that are lucky enough to work with him.
“It comes as no surprise that Kile is pushing himself to complete this charity bike ride and looking to give back to a very worthwhile cause. I hope those reading his article will support him generously, as both he and Headway are very deserving of all the support that we can give them.”
If you would like to donate to Kile’s fundraising page you can do so at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sharon-mcguinness