Ross was a fit and healthy 24 year old when he became sick in August 2013. Suspecting it was just something he'd eaten, he carried on life as normal, but the sickness continued and gradually he developed further symptoms.
Following many tests that showed nothing abnormal, Ross underwent a head MRI in November 2014 which diagnosed a 3.5 x 4cm 4th ventricular ependymoma, situated in a difficult to get to location but 3 weeks later he was undergoing an 8 hour operation to remove it "It was a case of, if you don't have the operation you'll die; if you do have the operation there's about a 20% chance you'll die" , and so an operation it was, just before his 25th birthday.
Following the procedure, Ross was unable to breath by himself, speak or swallow and suffered severe double vision, but following a 10 day stay in the Neurological ICU over Christmas, was eventually discharged home on New Years Day.
Ross gradually began to walk on his own again and set himself challenges to improve his distance. Having been a keen runner for many years with Southampton Athletics Club, this was a huge part of his life and after 4-5 months tried to run again but was devastated to discover that a paralysed vocal cord obstructed his airway....so running was out of the question!
So Ross turned his attention to cycling and following what he describes as a "miraculous recovery" intends to take on an "Everesting" challenge next year in aid of Smile4Wessex, to give something back to the team at the Wessex Neurological Centre who he credits for saving his life.
The challenge will involve Ross cycling up and down a hill until he has climbed the elevation gain of Mount Everest, which is 8848m or 29030ft. Ross says he likes a good challenge and whilst he's not sure whether he'll manage to complete it, and explains why he feels its the perfect challenge to tackle "After my surgery it felt like my recovery was going to be like climbing Mount Everest....and I got through that, so let me see if I can cycle the elevation of it"
To donate and support Ross, please visit his online fundraising page HERE