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Warning as kidney failure hits runner
7:10pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A GRUELLING long-distance charity challenge almost ended in disaster for a fit and healthy hospital worker when he was struck down with kidney failure.
Glen Lee, aged 39, entered the demanding Joust 24-Hour race to raise money for national deaf and blind charity Sense.
Things were initially going well for Mr Lee, an experienced endurance runner.
But 11 hours into the event, having already covered a double marathon distance of 52 miles, he stopped for a toilet break and started to urinate blood.
Recognising it as a symptom of kidney failure, Mr Lee pulled out of the race and headed to A&E where tests confirmed his fears.
The materials assistant at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch had lost more than a stone in weight in a single day and was admitted to the hospital he works in and warned that he could need dialysis if his condition worsened. Fortunately, that was not the case and he is now on the mend.
But his near miss has made Mr Lee realise that he should probably not have pushed himself to take part in the event and he is now warning other endurance runners of the risks of pushing their bodies to the limit.
Although he has managed similar distances in the past, his preparation for the event had been disrupted by a knee injury.
“It meant I couldn’t train as much as I should have,” he said. “I was really committed to the charity. I was proud to be representing them and I didn’t want to back out, so I started the race anyway.
“I took painkillers for my knee and that added to the strain on my body. My kidneys were under huge pressure.
“Endurance racing is becoming more and more popular, but I want my story to be a lesson to anyone thinking of entering this type of event.
“I don’t regret doing it for a minute, but you need to do the training and build yourself up properly, it’s absolutely essential.”
He said he had nothing but praise for the treatment he received from hospital staff – his colleagues – on ward 11.
“They were amazing. At one point we were worried that there would be permanent damage and the support I had from everyone helped me enormously,” he said.
Mr Lee has now given up long-distance running, but is still raising money for Sense. Anyone who would like to donate, can visit justgiving.com/Glen-Lee1.
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