Halifax man living on artificial nutrition to kayak 140 miles for charity that supported him

A man who was diagnosed with a tumour five years ago and now has to feed through a tube is set to kayak from Liverpool to Goole for charity.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:48 pm

Gary Taylor, 46, was diagnosed with a rare schwannoma tumour in 2016 and underwent invasive surgery to remove the tumour, found to be benign.

Initially told he would need to tube feed for six weeks to aid recovery, complications meant that Gary is still fed via a tube.

“After the worry of the tumour, it was a further stressful time for me and my family. I had the inability to swallow and had to come to terms with tube feeding”, explains Gary.

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“After surgery, I didn’t want to leave hospital and I was worried on how my family would cope. I was at a low ebb.”

Gary received help through the charity PINNT which exists to help provide support and understanding to those adapting to life on home artificial nutrition.

The charity’s nurses gave Gary, wife Colette and his children the confidence and support they needed to live as normal a life as possible.

“Knowing there is a nurse I can ring up if I have any problems is very reassuring. She is always there is a great support and having people who understand what I am going through really helps.”

Physically, Gary was in a weak state after surgery,

“I was a keen footballer and runner prior to surgery and had to start again improving my fitness. I joined local running club Sowerby Bridge Snails and set myself small goals to regain fitness and increased the goals as I went on.”

Since than every year Gary takes on different challenges to raise awareness for people that are on artificial nutrition. So far, he has run the London marathon twice as he didn’t get the time he wanted the first time. He has run the Three Peaks and did a cycling challenge of 375 miles over six days.

This year he is attempting to kayak from Liverpool to Goole along the canals, a total of 140 miles over a 6-day period. He will have to disembark from his kayak at every lock along the way.

Gary will be joined this year by his close friend Danny Brooks, who he has played football with at Greetland AFC. The pair have been training together over the last few months, increasing their distance.

Gary added: “If I can help and inspire people then I keep doing what I do.”

The challenge takes place from August 3 to 8.

To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GaryTaylor46.