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Weymouth footballer Kyle Critchell's brave battle inspires charity challenge
9:42am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
A TALENTED young footballer who was struck down by a life-threatening infection has inspired a friend to launch a charity challenge.
Personal trainer Regan Coward will be taking around 20 people on a walk to from Dorchester to Weymouth on Saturday, October 26.
Once there they will take part in a boot camp and games on the beach before walking the seven-mile route back to the county town, with the promise of some more challenges along the way.
The whole event has been organised to raise awareness of sepsis after Weymouth FC player Kyle Critchell was treated for it earlier in the year.
The 26-year-old is now on the road to recovery, although he admits he has a long way to go, and his battle with the condition prompted former Dorchester Town FC goalkeeper and friend Regan to set up the charity challenge.
The walkers will be setting off from the Dorchester Recreation Ground in Weymouth Avenue at around 8.30am and Regan, 23, is hoping for some support along the way.
He said: “I was going to do a charity event anyway and unfortunately what happened to Kyle came up so we met up when he came out of hospital and put our heads together.
“We wanted to do something to raise awareness for the Sepsis Trust and just want to raise as much sponsorship as possible.”
Kyle said he, like most people, did not know anything about sepsis before he had the misfortune to suffer from it and was keen to support the work of the Sepsis Trust in raising awareness.
He said: “Unfortunately it's the biggest killer in hospitals around England.
“I didn't have a clue about it, there's a lack of knowledge about it and this is what we are hoping to do something about.”
Kyle's recovery means he is not able to take part in the whole event but he will be supporting those taking part on the day.
He said: “I'm on the road to recovery, physically I've still got a way to go and mentally it's taken a big toll on me.
“But considering where I was 12 weeks ago to where I am now, I just feel very fortunate and very happy to be alive.
“I just want to praise all the people who supported me and looked after me while I was in hospital.”
Kyle said he was hoping he and Regan will be able to team up every year to run an event for the Sepsis Trust and Regan said they were both grateful to all the local businesses and organisations that supported the challenge.
Donations to the Sepsis Trust can be made online at sepsistrust.org or anyone wishing to sponsor the event can contact Regan on 07709 168322.
Sepsis is a life threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.
It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and potentially death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.
Abnormal temperatures, racing heart beat or confusion and slurring of speech may be signs of sepsis.
Sepsis claims over 37,000 lives in the United Kingdom every year - more than lung cancer and more than breast cancer and bowel cancer combined.
Research shows that early recognition and intervention saves lives and could save as many as 15,000 people a year.
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