Paralysed St Neots teen to walk a mile

Dean Symmons, from St Neots, is walking from Eaton Ford to Bulls Head in calipers to help raise mone

Dean Symmons, from St Neots, is walking from Eaton Ford to Bulls Head in calipers to help raise money for a new wheelchair. - Credit: Archant

A TEENAGER who lost the use of his legs two years ago is set for his greatest challenge yet – walking a mile.

Dean Symmons was left wheelchair-bound by a freak accident in a school PE lesson at the age of 15 and will taking on the walk between Eaton Ford and The Bulls Head, in St Neots, on May 25 with the help of metal calipers.

The furthest Dean has managed to walk so far is 50 yards and he believes it could take him up to six hours to complete the mile. The only way he can walk in them is by swinging his legs from the hip.

Dean, who lives in Oliver Way, Loves Farm, St Neots, said: “I haven’t walked that distance in two years, it’s the hardest challenge I’ve done, nothing else I could do would be this hard.”

While part of the reason for the challenge is the sense of achievement, Dean also needs to raise extra funds to help buy a lightweight wheelchair so that he can get in and out of his car by himself.

He has raised £1,200 so far for a much lighter chair made out of titanium, but this is only a third of the way towards the money needed.

“It’s going to cost £3,570 and it is basically the cost of my freedom,” Dean said.

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The now 17-year-old has taken on a number of challenges in an attempt to gain support to help secure his future, including travelling 15 miles to Cambridge in his wheelchair and completing a kayaking challenge to pay for special equipment needed to allow Dean to be independent.

Dean will be joined by family and friends for the walk which will finish at the Bulls Head in St Neots where a raffle and a buffet will be held.

As the walk will take Dean such a long time to complete he has challenged others who want to take part to make it much more difficult for themselves with some participants carrying significant weights for the journey.

INFORMATION: If you would like to contribute to Dean’s trust fund you can contact the family through their facebook site at Symmons-Trust/