From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, this is the story of an extraordinary man attempting to accomplish an incredible dream.
Meet Steve Plain. Three years ago, Steve was lying in hospital in Perth and was told by doctors that he may have to face life in a wheelchair. Now he is attempting to climb the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents in world-record time.
In December 2014, Steve was out on a regular swim at Perth’s Cottesloe beach when he was dumped by a wave and driven head first into the sand. Steve lay head-down in the water, unable to breathe. Lifesavers rushed to Steve’s aid, pulling him out of the water and rushing him to hospital.
In the hospital, doctors told Steve he had sustained a C2, C3 and C7 spinal cord injury as well a contorted spinal cord, ruptured disc, dissected artery, torn ligaments and more.
The initial prospect for a full recovery looked grim for Steve, with doctors predicting that he may never regain full movement. “Lying in a hospital bed with an uncertain prognosis was frustrating and frightening. I had never felt so weak or hopeless.
What followed Steve’s diagnosis was months of intensive rehabilitation wearing a halo brace. Steve was determined to prove the doctors wrong; “…Somewhere amongst all the self-pity, I made a promise to myself that I would come through this fitter and stronger than I was before.”
Steve’s sheer determination and strength led to the creation of an incredible dream; Project 7in4. Climbing the highest peak on each of the world’s seven continents in under 4 months.
Steve’s world-record attempt will begin with climbing Mount Vinson in Antarctica in January 2018 and will finish off with climbing Mount Everest in May.
Whilst on his journey Steve aims to raise awareness and funds for two charities related to his accident. After his close shave with paralysis he will be helping those not so lucky by supporting SpinalCure Australia and in recognition of the help of the life savers who pulled him out of the surf, he is also supporting Surf Life Saving WA.
SpinalCure Australia’s CEO Duncan Wallace, commended Steve’s choice to raise funds and awareness for Project Edge, a collaborative venture between SpinalCure and UTS.
“We are extremely grateful to Steve for choosing to support SpinalCure after his all-too-close brush with spinal cord injury. And he’s chosen to do so in such an awe-inspiring way showing the same sort of courage needed by those who, unlike Steve, are living with the paralysis caused by these devastating injuries. The funds he raises will bring exciting, emerging treatments closer to these people, and on their behalf we extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to Steve.”