Couch to 5k Group and Mark’s Story.
Victoria Jeffs and Mark Bailey.
A merry band of 27 started the latest C25k programme back in February which culminated on Saturday 6th April with them graduating by completing a parkrun.
All of them did fantastically well and with ages ranging from 28 through to 77, it was certainly a diverse group.
Once again abilities were wide and varied with the fastest finisher completing parkrun in 25 minutes and the slowest taking nearer 50 minutes and everything in between.
One member of the group, Mark Bailey, shares his own personal story below:
“On December 7th 2017 I was on the M6 driving home from working in Birmingham when a lorry overtook and then turned into me, causing my car to go into a spin and do three revolutions, crossing all the lanes. I ended up colliding with the central reservation.
I was taken to Heartlands hospital with a suspected broken shoulder.
After a scan, the main injury turned out to be a ruptured diaphragm with a diaphragmatic hernia. I had to be resuscitated in A&E. Not that I knew anything about it. Basically, on impact my insides carried on moving and my stomach went through the diaphragm and into my left lung.
Luckily It was acting like a cork so I didn’t suffer with much internal bleeding but I had lost 25 % lung capacity .
The doctors were reluctant to operate straight away as there was a lot of other trauma in my body at the time, so the best chance of a successful outcome was if I waited for everything to settle down first.
On April 30th 2018 I underwent a 10 hour operation to remove my stomach from my lungs. During the operation I had what was described to me as two cardiac episodes and another in intensive care (the best place to have one!).
The operation was successful but with every major surgery there have been many complications and I suffered a lot with infections and adhesions.
The surgeon told me she had no option but to insert gauze and approximately 60 stitches into my lungs and diaphragm to try and hold it all together.
I have had many hospital visits and treatments and was diagnosed 9 weeks ago with diabetes, a lot to do with lack of exercise.
Having been finally been signed off by the cardiologist to start to exercise again, Alison a nurse who treated me but also attended the previous couch to 5k group, suggested I give it a go.
She gave me the confidence to do it so I did. I missed the first week but joined in and everyone made me feel so welcome and gave me the encouragement to carry on through the pain and discomfort I was experiencing.
All of the instructor’s enthusiasm is infectious and makes you want to succeed and happily I have.
I ran the whole 5k park run on the 6th April in under 35 minutes, less than a year after surgery.
Finally I feel like things are on the up. It has not only helped me physically but mentally I am in such a better place. I have also lost a lot of weight in the 8 weeks I have been doing it.
Thank you all for everything.