Dubai-based expat Craig Lonsdale suffered from two severe brain seizures six months ago. The seizures caused damage to his brain, resulting to loss of coordination, including his ability to walk.
But this does not stop him from doing what he love, running. After recovering for a short period of time, he has signed up for the upcoming Tough Mudder Race, which is set on November 15, the closing weekend of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30.
“From my early days, I’ve been into a lot of sports. I was into running and boxing. I’ve learnt Muay Thai. I have been very active in terms of my fitness,” the 45-year old Lonsdale said to Khaleej Times.
Unfortunately, an unexpected day changed his life, “I was walking down the street, and I collapsed,” he said.
“Craig suffered two severe brain seizures and had to be resuscitated by me. The cerebellum is a small yet susceptible part of the brain that controls all motor skills. So, Craig’s walking, speech, bowel control and hand-eye coordination were left impacted,” explained Craig’s wife, Jacqueline Botha.
Lonsdale suffered from memory loss after the brain seizures, “I spent a month in hospital. It was a complete inspiration for me to start from zero. I couldn’t even walk when I was released from the hospital. I can’t remember any time at the hospital either. My wife and I have been working to piece together the memories every single day,” he told Khaleej Times.
Lonsdale, a former operations manager, has a passion for physical activities. He started recovering literally one step at a time. Then, he began to jog slowly, and with his strong mind and body, he urged himself to start running. “I pushed as hard as I could. I have lost 20kg in the process, as I had put a lot of weight during my illness,” explained Craig.
On the other hand, the supportive wife, Jacqueline shared that they started they started with basic exercises, “We did simple exercises together to improve his motor skills. We then started walking a friend’s dog that helped him regain his balance, and his walk turned to a run. He soon found that exercise gave him that stimulation he needed to push himself harder each day.”
After five months, Lonsdale completed the Tough Mudder Abu Dhabi in October and is now ready to face the upcoming one in Dubai, “If I can inspire just one person with my story, that is enough. My message to people would be: Do not give up. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel,” shared Lonsdale.