Man shot in the head with an airgun will cycle length of Britain – despite concerns pellet could move deeper in his brain
Cyclist raising money for stillbirth charity after his girlfriend suffered three miscarriages
10:32 GMT, 24 April 2012
A man who has had an airgun pellet lodged in his brain for 18 years will cycle the length of Britain for charity – despite fears it could move deeper.
Danny Walmsley was temporarily paralysed aged 14 when a friend accidentally shot him in the head at point-blank range.
The 33-year-old still has the .22 pellet lodged in his brain and a recent scan has shown it has moved two-and-a-half inches since it pierced his skull.
Determined: Danny taking part in the Rake Hill climb in Ramsbottom last year. He has an airgun pellet lodged in his brain but surgeons are not sure whether they can remove it
However, surgeons have warned that an operation to remove it could be life-threatening.
Despite health concerns, Danny, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, plans to cycle more than 850 miles between Lands End and John O’Groats for charity.
Danny, originally from Bolton, was just 14 when a friend shot him at point-blank range in a prank that went wrong on a camping trip in Kearsley.
He was initially paralysed, but recovered well and was last year part of the squad that won The Rake Hill Climb in Ramsbottom, Lancashire.
But since then, Danny, has been feeling more and more pain in his back, neck and right arm.
He believes his problems have been caused by the movement of the pellet, which was only discovered when he had an X-ray during treatment for sinus problems.
Danny Walmsley with his girlfriend Donna: He's raising money for the charity Sands, after it supported the couple following three miscarriages
He said: 'Things seem to be getting worse and it is having some implications on day-to-day living.
'I’m worried what will happen if it goes in any deeper – the main thing I am worried about is the state of life. I still want to be able to do everything day-to-day. Some days are okay, but then some are horrendous.'
Danny is due to undergo a series of tests on his brain to see if the pellet can be removed, but he has been warned that operating on his brain could cause problems like serious bleeding and epilepsy.
His consultant neurosurgeon, Mr Jake Timothy, said: 'Daniel pointed out to me that it looks like the pellet is moving. I actually agree and think that this needs to be looked into in more detail.
'I have explained to Daniel that removal of the pellet may be complicated by serious issues such as death, paralysis, epilepsy and infection and could only be considered in dire circumstances.'
Danny lives with his girlfriend Donna Davidson, 33, and is studying sports science at Leeds University. He hopes to become a personal trainer.
He is cycling to raise money for the charity Sands, who supported the couple when Ms Davidson had three miscarriages.