After surviving a bleed on his brain, a former army chef has also battled back from being paralysed and blind on one side to continue to run marathons.
Despite being left paralysed and blind on the left side of his body after suffering two brain haemorrhages, Steven Waterston (44), from Eskbank, has not let his passion for running wane, continuing to raise money for charity in the process.
Steven, registered as a cerebral palsy athlete in the T38 category, has now began his latest mission, to complete the equivalent of four marathons in five weeks to raise money for forces’ charity Help For Heroes, in memory of ex-serviceman David Seath who died while running in last year’s London Marathon.
Steven recently started this mammoth task by completing the London Marathon in four hours, and will now take on the Edinburgh to North Berwick 20 mile run this Saturday, the Stirling Marathon on May 21 and the Edinburgh Marathon on May 28. In between he will also complete two local 5k park runs to top-up the run through East Lothian.
Determined Steven, who refuses to let his disabilities effect his running, was left disappointed with his finish time in London, he said: “London was nice, on the day the weather was perfect, intermediate sunshine with clear spells which was great, and there was a great atmosphere also.
“I finished in four hours one minute and 31 seconds, my GPS said I did an extra half mile so it was a bit of a disaster as I had hoped to get under four hours.
“Marathons are normally quite good as I usually get put in pen one and get a clear start. But I was in pen four in London so I had a lot of traffic at the start, when there is people all over the place it’s more difficult to see them.
“So I could have probably got a better time”
In 2003, aged 31, Steven suffered a brain haemorrhage and his world changed forever. He was diagnosed with a condition called Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) – in which the capillary beds in part of the brain are missing, causing blood to travel directly from arteries to veins at high pressure, causing them to rupture. The doctors deemed the AVM too risky to remove, because of its size and location.
Steven then contracted meningitis in 2005, and in 2008 he suffered his second brain haemorrhage.
He was discharged in 2011 after 20 years in the army because the surgery he had was so significant. However, after serious rehabilitation Steven regained movement on his left and has defied the odds to become a personal trainer.
He said: “I have had two brain haemorrhages, two strokes and had major brain surgery in 2009 when I had a bleed on my brain.
“I was paralysed and I lost my sight on the left so I don’t see out my left eye and pressure has started on the right. It’s like doing a jigsaw, but through a keyhole.
“I’m just like anybody else, trying to put myself in the best possible shape I can. Though I have still got weakness down my left hand side.”
Steven now wants to raise lots of money for charity.
He said: “I’m an ex-serviceman so Help For Heroes is pretty important to me.
“I have got a great family network so I have not really needed Help for Heroes but I know guys out there that really rely on them.
“I’m desperate to raise as much money as possible. Although I really have found the fundraising quite difficult this time around. ”
To donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stevenwaterston.