OUT OF HOSPI­TAL TO TAKE ‘LIT­TLE GIRL’ DOWN AISLE

Dad will es­cort daugh­ter in his wheel­chair

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - JAMES MCCARTHY james.mccarthy@waleson­line.co.uk

AYEAR af­ter cheat­ing death in a moun­tain bike ac­ci­dent quad­ri­plegic Paul Cur­tis will take daugh­ter Hannah down the aisle to­mor­row. The 20-stone for­mer Har­lequin rugby player broke his neck hav­ing hur­tled down­hill on a moun­tain bike into a tree.

As he lay fight­ing for his life he turned to his best pal and said: “If I don’t get through this, walk my daugh­ter down the aisle.”

Now he has beaten the odds to be able do it him­self, with the help of his wheel­chair.

“I’m a lit­tle bit ner­vous and ap­pre­hen­sive, but I’m good,” Paul said.

The 58-year-old said: “It will be the first night I have spent away from the hospi­tal en­vi­ron­ment in 14 months.”

The smash left the dad of three with a bro­ken neck and dam­aged spine. He paral­ysed half his right di­aphragm and ru­ined half his right lung.

He said:“Like any dad, I’m re­ally ex­cited to see my lit­tle girl go­ing into the next chap­ter of her life, I’m ex­cited by the whole prospect.”

The wed­ding will be at the Oxwich Bay Ho­tel, Gower.

“Paul tried his suit on this week and looked ab­so­lutely amaz­ing, I was in floods of tears,” his wife Rhian, 56, said.

“It’s the first time Paul will have slept in a bed out­side hospi­tal with­out nurses,” she said.

“He’s ner­vous and scared but we will do it to­gether. He will ac­tu­ally be able to es­cort Hannah down the aisle.

“We didn’t think he would live, let alone make the wed­ding. But here we are a year later.”

“Paul can push with his left hand and hold Hannah’s hand with his right. They can go down the aisle to­gether. Hope­fully, he will not need to be to pushed.”

The fam­ily are try­ing to raise £150,000 to con­vert their home for Paul.

Last month rugby stars Will Car­ling, Mick Skin­ner, Peter Win­ter­bot­tom and Mike Teague were among those who raised more than £50,000 in a 70-mile bike ride for Paul.

To help Paul visit www.just­giv­ing.com/ c a mpaigns/ c hari t y / matthamp­son foun­da­tion/pelo­ton­for­curto

RICHARD WIL­LIAMS

Paul Cur­tis will take his daugh­ter down the aisle to­mor­row

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