Steven shrugs off ailments for run

READING through the list of medical ailments that have befallen Steven Waterston, it's amazing that he's even able to walk, let alone run.

He has survived two strokes, deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, blood clots on the lung and tunnel vision.

The 37-year-old army chef has also endured a whole range of treatments, including a craniotomy, where his scalp was peeled back and a piece of his skull lifted out to allow surgeons access to his brain.

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Despite his health battles, he is now completing his training for this year's 5K Bupa Great Winter Run on 9 January.

It all began in 2003. He was at home, close to Redford Barracks where he was stationed, when his first stroke hit him.

He said: "I was in the shower one day and had a massive headache. My wife took me to Redford Barracks medical centre and they took me to the ERI for scans."

After three and a half weeks in the Western General, he spent several months regaining his strength before returning to work with the Royal Logistics Corps at Easter 2004. But his problems were far from over.

In August 2008, he was struck down again. He said: "I lifted something a wee bit heavy and I felt it go. It was quite surreal this time because I knew what was happening, so I was calmer."

He had a string of operations to try and prevent the problem recurring, but during his recovery suffered a "mini-stroke", developed tunnel vision, DVT and blood clots on the lungs. Eventually, after his condition was stabilised, he was moved to the Astley Ainslie Hospital for neurological rehabilitation.

"It was fantastic there," he recalled. "I couldn't walk when I got to the Astley Ainslie."

But the hospital's physiotherapists got him back on his feet, and have now inspired him to follow the same career himself. He expects to be given a medical discharge from the Army, and is studying health at Stevenson College.

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Next year, he hopes to run and raise funds to buy computers for patients at the Astley Ainslie and the Mark Wright Project Centre in Dalkeith.

And with the support of Lynn and their daughter, Laura, 10, he has set his sights on a good showing at the Bupa Great Winter Run: "I've done a run already in October, but it was just about finishing, it wasn't about times, but now I want to get a good time to satisfy myself."