Young man running London marathon after coma and relearning to walk

Watch: Man who relearnt to walk after coma running London Marathon

Up and down the country, incredible people are taking part in half and full marathons, with the season in full swing. And one particularly inspirational man who had to learn to walk again after being in a coma for three and a half weeks is now due to run the London Marathon.

Connor Blundell, 25, from Sheffield, was on a year abroad in Valencia in Spain studying mechanical engineering. Then five weeks into his studies when he was out with friends, he fell four metres from a platform and landed onto his head.

Blundell was left unconscious and was rushed to hospital where he tragically stayed for nearly a month in a coma. Thankfully, he became conscious again, but was non-verbal and unable to walk.

Having spent nine months in rehabilitation, Blundell wasn't able to leave Spain until May 2021 and then continued his rehabilitation in the UK.

Less than four years on, he is waking and talking again and even taking part in the London Marathon this weekend alongside his dad, Chris, 57.

Connor Blundell, running marathon. (SWNS)
Preparing to run the London marathon is something Connor Blundell has always wanted to do, but means a lot more to him now. (SWNS)

"I had a one in three chance of dying and a one in three chance of being in a coma forever," says Blundell, an environmental consultant.

"I am pretty gassed to be here today.

"It has been a journey, the reason I am running for Crisis and WaterAid is because I don't question what if.

"Yes, it would have been lovely not to have to learn to get better again but I feel a lot of gratitude.

"I am lucky for my family's support and beyond that to not be experiencing homelessness and to not be without clean water." Despite what he's been through, Blundell remains thankful for what he has always had.

Connor Blundell in hospital. (SWNS)
Connor Blundell spent months in hospital learning to walk and talk again. (SWNS)

Looking back to the day of the unfortunate accident in October 2020, Blundell and his friends were enjoying the bank holiday weekend in Valencia. They were in a public park, dancing on a viewing platform when he fell off the edge.

"It was late, there was no lights," he recalls. "I was knocked out straight away when I hit my head from the fall.

"For the next three and a half weeks I was in a coma."

Blundell says he "gradually" woke up from his coma and wasn't able to walk or speak.

Connor Blundell in hospital. (SWNS)
Despite what he's been through, Connor Blundell is grateful that he's 'always had clean water and a roof over his head'. (SWNS)

"It wasn't like an off and on, mine was more a slow come round," he explains. "There was a time when I could keep my eyes open, I was more or less awake, but I couldn't speak for a month or so.

"I don't remember anything from my first few weeks, my memory starts in November.

"My sister took a year sabbatical and my parents were forced to take a year off from their own jobs to stay with me in Spain.

"It was tough for me and it was tough on them. They had to sit there not knowing if I would die tomorrow."

After he woke up, Blundell started physio where learnt to walk, talk and had cognitive therapy for four hours a day. He was then in hospital for a further four months before he was discharged and became an outpatient.

"I was walking with a Zimmer frame when I left hospital," he says.

"We were staying around a 20 minute walk from the hospital, we walked home and I would pray for a red light so I could sit down and take a break."

Connor Blundell in a wheelchair next to his mum and after running manchester marathon with dad. (SWNS)
Connor Blundell was determined not to let the Manchester Marathon be his last. (SWNS)

After leaving hospital, Blundell and his family stayed in Spain so he could receive outpatient care for five months, after which he and his family returned to the UK in May 2021.

"People expect me to hate Spain and everything about it," he says. "It is the opposite, I was obsessed with Spain before, and I still love it.

"It wasn't exactly the year that I expected, but there was definitely a lot of learning."

Over the past four years, Blundell has been having ongoing therapeutic input to improve his mobility, cognition, and speech. This weekend, he and his dad will join thousands of people running the London Marathon.

Connor mum. (SWNS)
Despite the accident, Connor Blundell still loves Spain. (SWNS)

"I am addicted to running, I ran the Manchester Marathon when I was 21 in just under three hours, which automatically qualified me to take part in the London race," he says.

"The accident prevented me from taking part in the London Marathon the year after as previously expected.

"From day one, I said 'I want to run a marathon one day'. In my head, I thought it would be 10 years.

"To be here three and a half years later, running a marathon is amazing. I am really fortunate to do it for two charities I care deeply about.

"To be running it with my dad will be an incredible experience.

"I have always wanted to run the London Marathon but it has a lot more meaning to me now."

You can find Blundell's fundraising page here. He has already raised more than £5000, well over his £2,000 target. We can't wait for his run.

Connor Blundell. (SWNS)
Connor Blundell is looking forward to running the London Marathon this weekend with his dad. (SWNS)

Additional reporting SWNS.