Man who lost leg in car crash to scale highest peak in Africa

Kevin Francis pictured after completing the 102km Coast 2 Cost Challenge 

Kevin Francis pictured after completing the 102km Coast 2 Cost Challenge - Credit: Contributed

A Norwich accountant who had to have one of his legs amputated following a serious car crash is going to epic heights to raise funds for charity - by preparing to scale Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kevin Francis, 41, has signed up to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, on October 22 in aid of Parkinson's UK as part of a seven-day hike.

This will see him scale the volcanic rock of the Barranco Wall with the aim of reaching the 5,895 metre summit on the sixth morning. 

Mr Francis, who works for Larking Gowen in Upper King Street, had to have his right leg amputated following an accident 16 years ago.

The accident took place at Hindringham when he was driving to his parents' house which required treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. 

Mr Francis said: "Without the work they did at the NNUH I would not be here today. I have to be careful with leg pains as after the amputation I can still feel a constant twinge which I usually put to the back of my mind." 

He continues to receive medication and feels lucky to still have his arm which has metal inside to hold it together. 

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Mr Francis, who used carbon fibre crutches, will be fundraising for Parkinson's UK as he has an uncle living with the disease. He said he is now more active than ever and is determined not to let his disability hold him back.

Having already tried swimming, skiing and hiking across a glacier in Alaska, Mr Francis has now turned his attention to long distance hiking Ultra Challenges.

His first such challenge was the 25km Thames Bridges Trek in 2019, the 42km Summer Walk around London, the 100km Cotswold Way Challenge in June and the 102km SW Coast 2 Coast Challenge in July. 

The SW Coast 2 Coast Challenge brought heavy rain and mist for Mr Francis with plenty of steep climbs and blistered hands, which required medical support at each rest stop.

But Mr Francis reached the finishing line after being limited to 20 minutes sleep on the Saturday night.

The fundraising page for the Kilimanjaro Challenge is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kevin-Francis14

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