VIDEO: Previously paralysed Wrawby man Mark Hornby stands unaided for the first time
A MAN who was left paralysed following a car accident 26 years ago has progressed with his goal of walking – by standing unaided for the first time.
Mark Hornby, of Wrawby sustained serious head injuries in 1986, which blocked the signals his brain needed to send to move his limbs.
Doctors at the time warned his parents that he would be like a "vegetable".
But in an effort to prove them wrong, he has spent the last 12 years retraining his brain cells to increase his mobility.
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We reported in August that Mark was able to stand holding a frame for seven minutes.
Now, thanks to continued exercise and incredible effort, the 47-year-old is able to stand unaided – without holding onto his frame – a simple task for many adults, but a massive achievement for Mark.
This latest step strengthens the hope that Mark will eventually walk again.
Master John Turner, of John Turner's Black Belt Academy, Brigg, has been training Mark to stand again.
He said: "The other Friday he was standing unaided but he gets tired. It's been going really well.
"I've had him stood there unaided without his tripod frame.
"When he stood there I asked him to hold his arms up to get him really concentrating and using his feet and leg muscles.
"When his arms were up I stepped back and he stood there for about 20 seconds on his own."
Mr Turner said he had started to use relaxing music to help calm Mark down.
He said: "I've been playing him some relaxing music so it calms him down and it works.
"I'm very confident we will have a breakthrough."
Mark was left wheelchair-bound after he was hit by a car while crossing the road in 1986 when he was 21.
Mark has been attending the academy since it opened its doors in 2000.
But little did he think exercising there would help him strike up the confidence and strength to get back on his feet.
Mark said: "I won a special award from John Turner for my positive and confident attitude. I sometimes feel more confident standing there.
"I'm hoping to be able to stand up on my own at the bar – but I cannot promise I will be able to stand up after a drink! I want to achieve the normality of standing."
His mother Liz, added: "It's taken a long time but we are getting there. John has been brilliant with him."