Many moun­tains to climb

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By AARON CORLETT

FROM the lows of be­ing dumped by a wave at Cottes­loe and break­ing his neck, Steve Plain will reach some of the high­est points on Earth. The Bur­swood res­i­dent has made a re­mark­able re­cov­ery since that De­cem­ber day in 2014 and is at­tempt­ing a world record as he tries to climb the high­est sum­mits on the seven con­ti­nents in four months from Jan­uary. “It was about 5.30am and I de­cided to go in for a swim with my friends; I saw a wave com­ing through and I put my head un­der­wa­ter and then I blacked out,” he said.

“I woke up up­side down and I tried to get up­right but I couldn’t move my arms.

“I was lucky that there were life­savers on the beach that could help.” Mr Plain was taken to Sir Charles Gaird­ner Hos­pi­tal be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal’s trauma unit.

“The doc­tors wanted to op­er­ate and fuse the ver­te­brae, which would have meant that I would lose mo­bil­ity, but be­cause of some com­pli­ca­tions with torn lig­a­ments it was too hard,” he said.

“They put me in a halo brace and I never had an op­er­a­tion. I was in the brace for 16 weeks and then a soft neck brace for two months.

“I started physio with small move­ments and then did my re­hab at Aqual­ife with some gen­tle swims and time in the gym.”

Mr Plain said his time in hos­pi­tal con­firmed to him he wanted to take on the seven sum­mits.

“It was some­thing I had al­ways wanted to do and this was the kick up the butt to do it,” he said.

“About 11 months af­ter the ac­ci­dent, I climbed Mt As­pir­ing in New Zealand and af­ter that I went to the Peru­vian An­des and two trips to the Hi­malayas.

“I’ve been keep­ing up my fit­ness work while I’m in Perth, run­ning up and down Ja­cob’s Lad­der, and do­ing lots of strength-based ex­er­cises.”

Mr Plain said the moun­tain he was most look­ing for­ward to climb­ing was Vin­son Mas­sif on Antarc­tica.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the ad­ven­ture; it’s a bit like the last fron­tier,” he said.

Mr Plain will be rais­ing money for Surf Life Sav­ing WA and Spinal Cure Aus­tralia. Visit www.projec­t7in4. com/ for more in­for­ma­tion.

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