Wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid regains feeling in legs
Reid, 24, from Helensburgh, was paralysed from the waist down at the age of 12, due to the rare spinal condition transverse myelitis.
Told he may never walk again, the keen sportsman took up wheelchair tennis and has become one of the best in the world
After two doubles Grand Slam victories, he has become a household name since becoming Britain’s first wheelchair Grand Slam singles champion, at the Australian Open in January.
Reid, who will compete in the Rio Paralympics and at Wimbledon this year, said: “When I first had my condition I was completely paralysed from the waist down, but as the nerves in my spine healed I gained some feeling back.
“I went through a lot of rehab over a few years and I’ve got to a stage now where I can walk a little bit, which makes life a lot easier.”
Reid - currently ranked at number five in the world in singles and number one in doubles – said sport was a huge part in his life before he collapsed following football training just before his 13th birthday.
He said: “It came without warning really. I had football training on the Thursday night, and on the Friday I spent the whole day with friends.
“I came back to my house and went to stand up off a chair and my legs gave way and crumpled underneath me.
“I just thought it was bad cramp from the football. When you’re that age you don’t really fear the worst and I could still walk a little bit with bent legs.
“I tried to go out again later on that day and realised I couldn’t even make it down my own driveway.”
He told how his condition quickly deteriorated as he lost all feeling in his legs and was left paralysed “from my belly button to my toes”.
After weeks in a hospital bed, tests revealed he had the rare condition, an inflammation of the spinal cord which causes the immune system to attack the central nervous system.
He underwent rehab and won his first wheelchair tennis title just six weeks after coming out of hospital.