Ed Jackson: Ex-rugby player climbs Snowdon less than a year after breaking neck

Ed Jackson
Ed Jackson climbed Snowdon on Easter Sunday, less than a year after his accident

Less than a year after breaking his neck, former rugby player Ed Jackson has climbed Snowdon.

Jackson, 29, was told he may never walk again after diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool on 8 April 2017.

The accident left the former number eight paralysed from the neck down, but with intensive rehabilitation he proved doctors wrong.

On Sunday he reached the summit of Snowdon to raise money for a charity which supports injured rugby players.

Jackson began his rugby career with Bath and had spells at Doncaster Knights, London Welsh and Wasps before joining Welsh region Dragons, where his career was cut short.

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Ed Jackson walks for the first time after breaking his neck

His phenomenal recovery sees him dedicate four to five hours a day to his physiotherapy.

He still needs splints and sticks to walk, but said he was "really happy to be back independent".

"It's a very long process recovering from a spinal injury - you keep recovering for five or six years, but the pace slows down," he told BBC Radio Wales.

He set himself the challenge to climb Snowdon before the one-year anniversary of his accident to raise money for Restart Rugby, the charity of the Rugby Players' Association.

Ed Jackson
Jackson made 36 appearances for Dragons after moving from Wasps in 2015

"I knew it was going to be really hard. I hadn't even walked half that distance before," he said.

"When the ice hit, a lot of people had to turn back. We had to put on crampons and it was pretty serious going. It was a bit of a slog to the top but we got there.

"I was pretty adamant I was getting up there no matter what was in the way. If the weather was really bad we were going to stay up there."

Ed Jackson
Jackson needed assistance breathing after the accident

Jackson said his next "challenge" is getting married in July to partner Lois Rideout, a former Celtic Dragons netballer and now a coach at Team Bath.

He plans to travel to Nepal in October to work with a charity aiming to build a spinal unit there.

"Maybe we'll line up a challenge such as Everest base camp," he said.

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