Darlington police sergeant defies odds to run the Great North Run

Darlington and Stockton Times: STEPPING OUT: Sergeant Daryl Edmunds, of Darlington police, who is taking part in this year’s Great North Run. Picture: STUART BOULTON STEPPING OUT: Sergeant Daryl Edmunds, of Darlington police, who is taking part in this year’s Great North Run. Picture: STUART BOULTON

A POLICE sergeant who feared he may never walk again after smashing his legs in a head-on motorbike collision is preparing to tackle his first half marathon for charity.

Sergeant Daryl Edmunds was riding his Honda Super Blackbird near Bishop Auckland – as he had done countless times before - when he was involved in a head-on collision with a car.

He smashed both legs and broke his right foot, dislocated his collar bone, broke his left wrist and thumb and was left paralysed from the waist down.

The 43-year-old was told by doctors he would be lucky to walk properly again, and may never be able to run.

Nine years on, the father-of-three has defied the odds and is training for this year’s Great North Run.

“The consultant said you will walk with a limp, but you will be lucky if you walk properly again," said Sgt Edmunds, who now works at Darlington’s North Road police team.

“I was working in the dog section at the time as a dog handler. It was a real shock."

He was signed off work for five months and underwent a number of operations to repair his legs, followed by months of gruelling physiotherapy.

He said: “I had a machine that forced my leg to bend. It was so painful, my kids used to run out of the room when I was using it.

“I had carers who came in to make my meals and tidy the house up and I had to sleep downstairs as I couldn’t lift my cast up.”

Despite his poor initial prognosis, Sgt Edmunds, who has served in Durham Police for 18 years, slowly regained the use of his legs.

Last year, together with officers from his team, he tackled Tough Mudder in Skipton, North Yorkshire - described by organisers as one of the toughest challenges on the planet – to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Sgt Edmunds, who served in the Navy for eight years before joining the police, said: “They (Help for Heroes) help people with injuries like mine.

“I was doing my judo black belt at the time of the crash and was extremely fit so I think that was one of the reasons I recovered.

“I was extremely lucky but it’s amazing what you can achieve.”

Sgt Edmunds will run the Great North Run with his eldest son, Simon, 20, on Sunday, September 7 to raise money for Help for Heroes.

To donate visit bmycharity.com/daryledmunds1

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