A bystander who nearly lost a leg in the Westminster Bridge attack is set to run a marathon in honour of the NHS staff he credits with saving his life.
Stephen Lockwood, from Oxfordshire, was visiting London with his wife, Cara, to celebrate his 40th birthday when he was struck by the attacker’s car. After receiving severe injuries to his face, chest and leg, he was rushed to the Major Trauma Unit at St Mary’s Hospital, undergoing a four-hour operation and regular physiotherapy sessions to help him walk again.
Now, as a way of thanking the NHS staff who cared for him, Stephen is aiming to raise £3,500 for Imperial Health Charity by taking on the Brighton Marathon this September.
“It was a humbling experience seeing how they operate and the work that goes into looking after each patient and their families.
“It made me determined to live my life the best I could after knowing how much effort had gone into saving it.
“I also want to raise awareness of this incredible institution and show support in the extraordinary work they do. I can never thank them enough for what they did for my wife and me.”
By taking part in the challenge, Stephen, whose wife escaped the attack with bruises and a twisted ankle, hopes the achievement will help him close the door on a painful period in his life.
“When I was laying in the hospital bed, I made a promise to myself that if they save my leg, I will learn to walk again, I will learn to run again, and I will run a marathon to fundraise for the team that saved me.
“Being in that bed in the trauma ward was like my starting line, and once I’ve crossed the finish line of the marathon, it will bring me some form of closure on this chapter of my life.
“Training is long, hard, and painful at times. I have to be careful and listen to my body – it is a slow process, building strength and stamina and when I have the odd small injury. I find it a challenge to get over it as mentally, it takes me back to the time I felt completely broken.”
Stephen and Cara’s ordeal was documented in the first episode of the second series of the BBC’s Hospital. The episode, which happened to be filming at St Mary’s Hospital during the attack, shows staff mobilising to treat victims, as well as the attacker.
Every penny Stephen raises for Imperial Health Charity will go to the Major Trauma Unit, helping the team offer the best possible care for seriously ill patients.
The Brighton Marathon takes place on 12 September 2021. You can donate to Stephen’s fundraising efforts on his JustGiving page.