Injured war veteran to run London Marathon in memory of fellow soldier
An injured veteran from Eskbank who is blind in his left visual field and partially sighted in his right is running the London Marathon in memory of his friend, fellow veteran David Timmins QGM, who died suddenly earlier this year.
Steven Waterson is attempting to take on the 26.2 mile challenge for the seventh time in London in aid of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans who supported David after he was injured in Afghanistan.
The charity was close to David’s heart after he suffered serious blast injuries in 2009 which left him with one eye, a fractured skull, broken ribs, a punctured lung, lacerated liver, a fragmentation wounded, and an incubation via tracheotomy during his 12-day coma. David received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions in Afghanistan.
It was while both Steven and David were recovering at Headley Court in early 2010 that the pair met. While other injured veterans who lived closer to the hospital returned home for the weekend, the two Scots stayed and became close friends.
The 49-year-old, who served in the Army Catering Corps, said: “Despite recovering from a torn calf muscle, I am committed to running on Sunday in memory of my good friend David who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in January, just a few weeks before his 40th birthday. David was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I’ll be looking up to the sky and asking David for some help along the marathon route when it gets tough.”
But running the marathon will also come with its own complications for Steven who was diagnosed with a brain condition in 2003 after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage which was only followed by further health conditions including three ankle ligament reconstructions, deep vein thrombosis, meningitis and a second subarachnoid haemorrhage which resulted in Steve being paralysed down his left-hand side and fed through tubes for a couple of months.
After a long and difficult recovery, Steven learnt to walk, read, write but he still has a significant left-sided deficit. As Steven is sight impaired, he is also never without his white cane, even when running.
“In 2011, I joined an athletics club. Now, I’m an avid runner. I’m supposed to be quite quick as I’m also a track runner, but I deal with a lot of issues that other runners don’t have to deal with, like constantly scanning around me. I’ll be hoping to finish somewhere respectable, around four hours.
“As a disabled person, running is the only thing I can do that gives me solace and allows me to feel like a regular person out with my close family. Running has been my constant for since I can remember. It’s what I turn to when I find things difficult and distressing.”
To support Steven, please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/THEMADEX.ARMYCHEF