A LEADING fundraiser has vowed to complete the 675-mile walk he had to abandon after a hit-and-run accident.
Mike Denny is head of fundraising at Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington and was trekking from north Devon to Hampshire when he was hit by a cyclist and knocked unconscious.
He was taken to hospital with severe concussion and then suffered a bout of vertigo and dizziness, forcing him to pull out of the walk.
Last night the 63-year-old father of two pledged to finish the charity challenge in three stages.
Rather than try to find another four-week gap in his schedule, he plans to complete the 100 miles from Bridport to Lymington in August before tackling the other two legs of the walk later this year and next spring.
He told the Daily Echo: “The accident has made me more determined than ever to finish the walk.”
Mr Denny had spent more than a year planning Mike’s Million Steps and was just two-and-a-half days into his month-long journey from Minehead to Lymington, via the South West Coast Path, when disaster struck.
“The start of the walk had gone really well and I was thoroughly enjoying myself,” he said. “I’d just turned off the esplanade at Woolacombe and was walking up a small road when a mountain biker came hurtling around a bend.
“He brushed against me and I lost my balance, falling sideways into a hedge and banging the side of my head on a stone wall. The cyclist didn’t even stop.”
Mr Denny regained consciousness and initially carried on walking but was found by his support team and taken to Barnstaple Hospital.
He was diagnosed with labyrinthitis, ending his hopes of resuming the walk.
“It caused vertigo and dizziness – not ideal when you’re attempting to walk along a narrow coastal path. It even affected me when I was lying down, but it’s cleared up over the past week,” he said.
Mr Denny had hoped to complete the walk today, arriving at Oakhaven’s family fun day.
He said: “I’d been through all the possibilities in my mind beforehand, like twisting an ankle or breaking a leg, but I never even considered that a cyclist would ride straight into me.”