AT the age of 40 Andy Plowright suffered a devastating brain tumour and the subsequent treatment left the father-of-three unable to walk.

But thanks to an incredible and determined battle back on to the road of recovery Andy, from Uppermill, didn't just learn to walk again.

Last month he ran the Manchester Half Marathon in two hours and 10 minutes and raised £1,700 for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Amazing Andy, now 43, had a portion of his skull removed during a life-saving procedure followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy which left him struggling to move his hands and feet as well as loss of mobility.

But thanks to tough and intensive rehabilitation by Oldham-based Physio Matters' team of neurological physiotherapists, Andy was able to make a magnificent comeback.

Andy, an operations manager in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University of Manchester, who has three sons, said: "Running the half marathon was a brilliant experience.

"I was dreading it on the start line but ended up absolutely loving it. It just felt good the whole way round. I hadn't run more than 10 miles before so I can't quite believe I had so much in the tank."

"I had a really good friend running with me, Dr Nadhim Bayatti, who helped keep me safe in the chaos of the first and last few miles.

"My plan was to run it in under 2 hours 30 minutes, so I was delighted to finish even faster in 2 hours 10 minutes. I was reeling people in with a big smile on my face for the last mile or two!"

Andy literally had to go back to basics to regain his mobility.

He initially learned how to stand and walk again, indoors at first and then eventually outdoors.

Balance and strength work by Physio Matters specialists - who treat people who suffer brain injuries as a consequence of range of incidents such as head injuries, traumatic accidents, strokes and brain tumours - followed until Andy recovered his stamina and improved his walking ability. His first big step was being able to walk from Uppermill to Greenfield to catch the train to work in Manchester.

To further improve his fitness, Andy joined Greenfield Greyhounds, a running club for beginners which helps people build up to running a 5K, and then progress to 10Ks, half marathons and further.

Colin Green, clinical director of Physio Matters, said: "We are really proud of all that Andy has achieved.

"I've always been impressed by his determination and positive attitude.

"As his physio team, it has been very rewarding to see how much he has improved and how hard he has worked during his rehabilitation to get to this point. He's a real inspiration and I'm delighted with his success."

Colin, a keen ultra-runner, set up Greenfield Greyhounds in 2011 to introduce absolute beginners to running as a hobby and sport. The club has helped over 500 people to start running.

And Andy's inspiring story continues to gather pace.

He has already signed up for the next Manchester Half Marathon, as well as the Liverpool Half Marathon, and hopes his example can help others in their rehabilitation journey.

"Words can't express my gratitude for what Colin and his brilliant team have done for me since my brain surgery," he said.

"Such a friendly, knowledgeable and professional bunch. I've gone from cautiously shuffling around my living room to training for a half marathon thanks to the care I've received and the customised rehab plans and exercises they've provided," said Andy.

"I hope my run can motivate other people who have had a similar life-changing illness or injury.

"Thanks to Physio Matters, I've been able to improve my mobility so much. Rehabilitation is hard work but if I can do it after what happened to me, then anyone can. I've learned there is still a lot you can achieve – just give it a go!"

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