Biker told he would never walk again is first person with spinal injury to complete Red Bull 400

  • Watch Ben Tansley talk about his incredible challenge on ITV News Anglia.

A man who was told he would never walk again has described his amazing sense of achievement after taking part in one of the toughest hill climbs in the world.

Gym owner Ben Tansley, 38, from King's Lynn in Norfolk, suffered a severe spinal injury when he was knocked off his motorbike in 2017 on the A148.

Mr Tansley said he knew instantly something was badly wrong when he could not feel his legs after the crash.

But last year he became the first person with a spinal cord injury to complete the 400m hill climb in Slovenia to raise money and awareness of his condition.

The Red Bull 400 Challenge involves competitors clambering up a ski run equivalent to scaling a 40-storey building.

The climb would be a difficult challenge for most, but a near-impossible one for Ben, who described it as the hardest thing he had ever done.

He was speaking out to encourage other people to follow his lead and raise money for those with spinal injuries.

After successfully completing the challenge he said: "That was tough, it was really, really tough. It's amazing I've done it - you can't not have a sense of achievement when you've done it.

"It was slightly stupid but good as well you know."

Ben Tansley on the climb together with his son Jude. Credit: Red Bull

Mr Tansley carried out the climb using crutches and despite suffering from a urine infection at the time.

He had to crawl up some sections of the grassy slope as his family and supporters cheered him on.

At the top he was able to celebrate with his son Jude who accompanied him on the climb.

Mr Tansley said: "We're just making memories. When I'm long gone and dead and buried he'll remember doing this with his dad.

"Considering they told me I'd never walk, that was the hardest thing I have ever done. [It was through] sheer effort."

Ben makes the climb with his son and supporters. Credit: Red Bull

Mr Tansley was promoting the Wings for Life World Run which raises money for spinal research.

He had to rebuild his life after a crash which left him using a wheelchair following eight hours of spinal surgery which left him with 10 metal screws in his back.

During three months in hospital, he was strapped to a bed for six weeks and told he would never walk again.

In 2022 he became the face of an NHS recruitment drive to attract more nurses to work in the NHS.

Since then he has worked hard on his rehabilitation and learned to walk short distances.

He said: “There is an amazing life after spinal cord injury and the best thing you can do is not shy away from anything, because you can spend so much time worrying about a situation and nothing’s ever as bad as it seems.

"Everything happens for a reason, so get busy living!"

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