Teenager will scale heights - on just one leg

Outstanding achiever: Thomas received his Panathlon award at University Academy Keighley
Outstanding achiever: Thomas received his Panathlon award at University Academy Keighley

A TEENAGER who held a leaving party for his leg, which he will lose in a crucial operation, is about the scale a climbing wall for a new fundraising challenge.

Earlier this year the Courier reported how sports-mad Brooksbank School pupil Thomas Green, having faced 20 unsucessful operations on his left leg to treat a venous malformation - a network of veins behind his knee that have bled into the joint and caused severe arthritis - had been advised by specialists last October that amputation was his best option and celebrated its impending removal with a special party.

Leg cake: Thomas at the party earlier this year

Leg cake: Thomas at the party earlier this year

Now Thomas, 14, is to pursue his Paralympic dream by raising money through scaling the UK’s highest outdoor climbing wall - the 118 feet Roktface climbing wall in Brighouse - on Saturday, July 15, with just one functioning leg.

The decision on which type of prosthesis to have made after his operation is yet to be made, but for now Thomas is focusing on raising money to buy a racing wheelchair.

Sarah Pearce, Brooksbank’s learning support assistant, came up with the idea of a wall climb and the school is also holding a fundraising dougnut sale, gin sale and race night.

One of Thomas’ few current opportunities in sport is via charity Panathlon, which helps disabled students take part in competitive sport. Last Friday, Thomas was announced as the charity’s 2017 West Yorkshire Outstanding Achiever for bravery in facing up to the prospect of the amputation and overcoming physical difficulties.

Thomas’ father Matthew said: “Without Panathlon we would have struggled to get Tom many sporting opportunities. It has given him the appetite to pursue wheelchair racing. He’s thrived and we’re really proud of him, but also grateful to his school and the charity for what they’ve done for him.”

To support Thomas, go to www.gofundme.com/toms-wheelchair-fund