Race walker back on his feet

Former race walker Kevin Henwood is ready to get back out on the road, thanks to Ipswich Hospital’s Podiatry team.

The former athlete has been an active patient of Ipswich Hospital’s Podiatry service for about six years and dropped into the service last week to say thanks.

Referred to the service for pain related to his arthritis, Kevin later developed a foot ulcer. This led to complications, and he developed Acute Charcot Foot, a condition that requires intensive treatment over many months in a rigid cast extending from his foot to just below his knee.

Senior Podiatrist Rebecca Nunn said Kevin had since been fitted with a custom walking boot and his ulcer had healed.

“He can now go back to his normal activities and we will continue to monitor his progress,” Rebecca said.

Although he is healed and has one foot out the door, Kevin will still be a regular fixture at the clinic as he works with the podiatry and physiotherapy teams on his rehabilitation.

“I’ve got to drop in and give them a bit of cheek now and then,” Kevin said. “They do say ‘here comes trouble’ when they see me.”

Kevin said the podiatry team had been a great help and he was extremely grateful for their care.

“Now that my foot is healed, I can have my shoulder surgery,” he joked. “It is very nice what they did.”

The 75-year-old started his race walking career in the 1960s and continued until 1996.

“I moved over here from New Zealand in 1995 and, in 1996, I entered the Masters competition. I came out of retirement 14 days before the race and won gold in my over-40s age group.”

In 1988 he walked the New York Marathon in a time of 4 hours 29.5 minutes.

Thanks to the Ipswich Hospital team, Kevin plans to complete a 5km “fun walk” when he is back on his feet.