A maintenance engineer who thought he'd lost his thumb after an injury to his hands at work is taking on a three step running challenge to thank hospital staff who treated him.

Stephen Cliff hopes to raise hundreds of pounds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity by completing a 10k, half and full marathon- the longest distances he'll have ever run.

When I saw the extent of my injuries I thought I would lose my thumb...

He said: “At work one day I was carrying heavy moulds when I tripped, resulting in me dropping the moulds on my hands which caused significant damage.

“On my left hand I had an open thumb break and on my right index finger I had a clean break. Both injuries had caused tendon damage.

“I was taken to Barnsley Hospital where it was decided that I would need to go to the Hand Unit at the Northern General Hospital for specialist treatment.

"After removing my gloves and seeing the full extent of my injuries I thought I would lose my thumb, but staff at the NGH reassured me straight away.

“They told me I would need surgery which would involve an external fixation on my thumb to stabilise the bone and soft tissues, and on my index finger I would need to be fitted with a metal plate which would be secured with screws.

“While I was recovering my partner Chloe and my mum and dad were so supportive. I couldn’t do even simple tasks without their help. We were moving home not long after the accident which I found extremely hard to watch but not being able to do anything.

“Over time my injuries improved and six months after the accident I had another operation to remove the plate and screws as I no longer needed them.  I then needed physiotherapy to learn how to use my hands properly again.

The care I received was first class...

“Staff at the Hand Centre had done an amazing job fixing my injuries. The care I received was first class, the surgeons for saving my thumb and finger, nurses for the care I received on the ward and the physiotherapists that have helped with the ongoing recovery.

“That’s’ why I decided to raise funds. I like running but the furthest I’ve run is 10k so I wanted to push myself by doing three running distances - a 10k, half marathon and marathon. The funds I raise for Sheffield Hospitals Charity will be split equally between the Hand Unit and the Therapy Services.” 

To sponsor Stephen...

Stephen has just completed the The Leeds 10K and will be completing The Great North Run In September and the Yorkshire Marathon in October. To sponsor him, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-cliff95