AN injured Swindon man tackled the the Three Peaks Challenge on crutches to raise awareness for the chronic pain condition he was diagnosed with after an accident at work. 

Dan Ward, a steel erector and welder from the New College estate, broke his ankle and leg in December 2019. 

After his leg was pinned back together he suffered infections during the healing process, which resulted in the metalwork having to be removed.

He had another operation in July 2020 and has relied on crutches ever since as his leg is still not fully repaired.

Later in the year he was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

“A simple gentle knock on my foot that you would normally think wouldn’t be an issue can be bad enough to bring tears to my eyes," he said.

“I am currently unable to wear a shoe and hence the reliance on crutches almost 24/7.” 

To raise awareness of the condition and to raise money for Burning Nights CRPS Support, the 37-year-old decided to take on the Three Peaks Challenge.

With his wife Michelle, 36, by his side, he scaled Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdonia in Wales on September 23 and 25. 

But inclement weather prevented the Wards from scaling the third peak, Scafell Pike on the day in between, so they completed two smaller climbs in the Lake District of a equivalent height, Catbells and Gummers How.

“It was more about raising awareness, rather than money for the charity," said Dan.

“300 people a day in the UK diagnosed with this condition, I wanted to make people more aware of chronic pain conditions and how they affect people mentally.”

“It was great to have the support of my partner and our friends, different friends did different stages with us, I’m grateful for all of their support for me and that they were there to help me, 

“One friend in Ben Nevis even offered to carry me up if I couldn’t make it.”

Dan set himself a fundraising target of £1,000 but has so far raised £2,590 for the charity. 

But he has unfinished business with his challenge and he hopes to return to Scafell Pike. 

“At the minute I’m awaiting consultation to speak to a surgeon about amputation of my lower left leg, he said. "But depending on the healing timeframe of wearing a prosthetic and physiotherapy involved I’ll be back to do it. 

“I’m so proud of what he’s done,” said Michelle. “I think he found it harder than he thought it would be, there were times I thought he wouldn’t make it, but he didn’t give up."