Car crash survivor vows to beat pain to complete Brighton Color Run

A man who developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) after a car crash has vowed to beat his disability and complete the Brighton Color Run.

Martin Leppard will lead a team of people with the disabling syndrome – the Brighton CRPS Warriors – as they walk the five kilometres along Brighton seafront in September.

The Color Run – imported from America, complete with the American spelling – claims to be the original, largest and most unique event of its kind.

Thousands of “Color Runners” start the day in a special edition white t-shirt before getting covered from head to toe in a rainbow of colours at the four Color Zones and the new Foam Zone as they run five kilometres to celebrate health, happiness and friendship.

Fundraising for the run is already under way.

Warriors who battle disability suffering from the syndrome will not only walk along the Maeira Drive route to raise money but also to raise awareness of their condition.

Mr Leppard was left with greatly reduced mobility when he developed the syndrome after a car accident in January 2013.

He said: “In the space of two weeks, I went from running 10k a week to being unable to get from one end of my bungalow to the other.”

Despite his reduced mobility, Mr Leppard is determined to complete the 5k challenge in September.

He said: “It was something I wanted to do before my accident. I decided that it would be my personal challenge for 2017.

“I’m hoping to raise 50p per metre and I’ll get to the finish line if it kills me!”

He was involved with Color Run before his accident as an event manager but reluctantly had to withdraw from the hands-on organisation afterwards.

His involvement with the run over many years has made him even more determined to complete it.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a condition that causes severe pain which won’t go away.

It usually affects just one arm or leg and often follows an earlier injury to the limb. Most commonly it affects the hand and wrist, foot and ankle or knee, although sometimes the entire leg or arm can be affected.

The body’s reaction to the injury is much stronger than usual and may spread.

Anyone can be affected by CRPS, including children.

Mr Leppard will be accompanied by his friends and family who make up the Brighton CRPS Warriors and the team will be taking part on Saturday 23 September. To sponsor them, click here.

This article was first published in Brighton and Hove News.

Hidden cost of Brexit and the impact on the NHS (radio interview)

EU nationals working in the NHS and other industries or for themselves have not been guaranteed the right to remain in the UK.

For those of you who don’t have time to listen to the podcast, here is  a rough idea of what I said about the central question:

I think Brexit is very dangerous because it feeds xenophobia. The government needs to measure, statistically, the income generated by migrants, specifically those from the EU, working in the NHS to understand the true value of their contribution. We need to reframe the debate. All the statistics I could find concentrate on how much EU nationals cost the NHS and if any of this money is recouped.

In making the case for freedom of movement, data urgently needs to be collected about how much money is generated for the NHS and the British economy by EU nationals. The fact that the government is importing GPs from Europe and beyond suggests that EU nationals are voting with their feet and leaving the UK. The governments needs to acknowledge this, apologise and take steps to prevent an even greater exodus of highly trained NHS staff that the government will then need to replace.

A lot of the debate about Brexit has focused on economic arguments. While these are important we saw last winter that the NHS is already stretched to breaking point in the winter and hardly coping. Clearly if 25,000 EU staff leave, the crisis will become acute and it will take time for new staff to be recruited. It is these arguments that people need to hear: that their access to hospital care and GPs may be limited which could be life-threatening. This is the reality that frontline NHS staff battle every day, staff shortages and increasing demand on services.

You can also read my blog about a gathering of EU nationals #onedaywithoutus here describing both their contribution and pain since the EU referendum. It explains in their own words, how EU nationals feel about Brexit and its impact. It is in the February archive of this blog.

The full drive time programme is available as a podcast here.