An inspirational South Yorkshire man with locked-in-syndrome has not only completed an incredible 80-day cycling challenge but also well and truly beaten his fundraising target. 

David Collings (60), who has been conscious but unable to move or speak since suffering a brain stem stroke in 2016, can only communicate by using his eyes. His challenge, in support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, has seen him cycle on a therapy bike at STEPS Rehabilitation Centre in Sheffield for two hours a day for 80 days. 

David has smashed his original fundraising target of £1,000, with donations through his Justgiving page reaching £1,530 before he had even completed the challenge. 

David, who comes from Aston, near Rotherham, was inspired to take on the challenge after hearing that one of his cycling heroes, Mark Beaumont, had set a new world record cycling around the world in 79 days. David has been able to cycle by using a MOTOmed therapy bike in motor assisted setting. This setting starts moving David’s legs passively, but once started, David can join in with the machine and actively participate in cycling. 

David’s wife Carole, daughter Georgina Tyler-Collings and grandson Jake Tyler-Collings were with David when he completed the epic cycle. Georgina said: 

"My dad's challenge has meant so much to so many people. This has been him not letting his own condition stop him from doing what he always wants to do, to help others. He was moved to support Bluebell Wood after meeting a young boy, Finlay, through staff at his rehabilitation centre, and hearing all about how Bluebell Wood helps Finlay and his family. This challenge proves to family, friends and strangers, that if a man has determination, nothing can stop him, and that is incredible.” 

Bluebell Wood community fundraiser Gail Parkin said: “It has been a huge privilege and honour to have David’s support. We’re so impressed at everything he has achieved with his challenge. We were extremely touched that he chose to fundraise for Bluebell Wood in the face of his own challenges. 

“Bluebell Wood helps families to make special memories and every penny David has raised will help these families do this, and get the support they need, from end of life treatment and care and counselling to sibling support and music therapy.”