AN ARMY reservist who bounced back after a traumatic brain injury is now playing an instrumental role in the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity's NHS 70th birthday celebrations.

Paul Harrison, from Dinas Powys, was involved in a high speed crash during military training in Austria in November 2016 and was forced to take eight months off work undergoing neurological rehabilitation at an Army medical facility.

But after his recovery, Mr Harrison decided he wanted to give something back for the kindness and care he received, raising more than £3,000 for the Headley Court charity where he was treated.

And continuing in that vein, the professional lead for general podiatric practice at Cardiff and University Health Board has now played a key role in organising a bed push, as well as 5km and 10km run events set to take place in Cardiff Bay next month, in recognition of the NHS' 70th birthday.

“After leaving rehab I was determined to give something back for the help I received. So I ran four half marathons over the period of a month and raised £3,200 for the Headley Court charity," said Mr Harrison.

“I'll admit I got a bit carried away at this point and started entering marathons, triathlons and an ironman to try and raise more money. But I quickly realised I can only ask for so much from my friends and family and had to change tack before I made them all bankrupt or they starting ignoring my calls.

“So I had to think of another way to raise money to help others who had suffered traumatic brain injuries."

Mr Harrison said that exercise had played such an important part in his recovery that he wanted to encourage others to try the same, as well as raising more money for charitable causes.

The money raised from the Cardiff Bay events will be going directly back into NHS healthcare, and will be directed towards supporting those with brain and spinal injuries.

“I floated the idea past a colleague about organising a run and whether she'd help me plan it," he added.

"She had the great idea to link it to the NHS 70 celebrations and introduced me to the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity who were happy to work with me to raise money for the brain and spinal injuries unit at Rookwood Hospital, helping me to give something back for the care I received.

“I am extremely grateful and humbled that people I didn’t know a very short time ago were willing to give up their time to take part in the event and help make it happen.

“The response has been so great so far with almost 200 people signing up for the event, but we’ve still got a way to go to reach our target of 500 runners.

"Everyone is welcome to join in, whether you’re pushing for a personal best or running your first 5k, we’d love to have a big crowd cheering on the runners and bed push teams.”

To sign up for the NHS at 70 run, visit: