A MAN who was paralysed after being stabbed in the back with a chisel is taking part in a marathon to raise funds for stem cell treatment which could help him walk again.
Murray Muir was badly injured in a random attack outside in a pub five years ago and has been wheel-chair bound ever since.
Doctors told the scaffolder that he would be paralysed for life after the brutal assault which happened outside Bar Seine in the Leith area of Edinburgh.
But despite suffering bouts of meningitis and MRSA following the 2007 incident, the 35-year-old has vowed to defy medical opinion and says he will fight to raise money for stem-cell treatment.
Speaking about the attack, Mr Muir said: “It was just me and this other guy having a drink on Leith Walk.
“All of a sudden these cars screeched up – all these people appeared and we were surrounded. Someone just cam up behind me and stabbed me in the back. I found out later it was with a chisel.
Mr Muir’s attackers were never caught after they rushed away from the scene.
Mr Muir was rushed to Western General Hospital before being transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
After being treated there, he was then transferred to Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.
The 35-year-old was in hospital for six months where he contracted meningitis and hospital bug MRSA.
He was also treated for a golf-ball size clot which formed in his spine after surgery.
But despite his set backs, Mr Muir is now hoping to participate in the Rock’n’Roll Edinburgh half marathon on Sunday.
Starting at Holyrood park at 9am, Mr Muir will wheel his way around the 13 mile route before finishing at in the same park later in the day.
Cash raised from the marathon will go towards stem-cell surgery which Mr Muir to undergo in the near future.
Having already raised £5500 since December, he is setting his sights on a grand total of £30,000 for the expensive treatment.
The surgery has caused concern with stem-cell sceptics and is currently “unproven” in theUK.
It will involve introducing stem cells from other parts of his body so that damaged nerve endings in his spine can repair themselves.
Mr Muir has identified treatment centres in Germany, Israel, and Panama City, where surgery will cost in the region of £30,000.
He said: “I’ve been in touch with a woman by e-mail who lives in America and went through the same procedure.
“She got the operation and the feeling came back in her chest and then she said she eventually got muscle twinges.
“I’ve been putting myself forward as a guinea pig for stem cell treatments here but the doctors have not followed me up on my offers.”
Research on stem-cell treatment for spinal injuries is still ongoing and is often not recommended by UK surgeons.
Lil Shortland, chief executive of the UK Stem Cell Foundation, said: “In our opinion there is no treatment for spinal cord injury agreed to be effective by the clinical community.
“We do not recommend that people travel abroad for treatments that are unproven at the moment.”
Another fundraiser is due to go ahead inLeith, as planned by Mr Muir while his friends are planning to scale a Munro on his behalf.
To donate to his appeal, visit www.murraymuirinstitute.webeden.co.uk