Irish commonwealth games medal winner Mark Pollock, whose inspirational story of being the first blind person to conquer the South Pole has captivated the nation, has launched a court case in the UK over a catastrophic fall which left him paralysed from the waist down five years ago.
Co. Down native Mark is suing his friends, Enda and Madeline Cahill, for damages after he fell out of the second floor window of their home in Henly, outside London, while staying with them during the Henly Regatta in 2010. Mark has no recollection of exactly what happened, but believes that he was looking for the bathroom when he fell out of a window that had been left open by his guests.
Just over a month ago, Mark featured in VIP magazine along with his fiancée, Simone George, whom he had been planning to marry just a few weeks after his tragic accident. Talking about the fateful night to VIP, Mark said “I had gone to bed early, thinking I would go home the next morning to help with the wedding preparations. But I fell out the window of the bedroom I was staying in. I don’t remember what happened, and nobody saw anything.”
And while he is now suing the Cahills for negligence, as he believes that they had disregarded a ‘reasonably foreseeable risk’ of him being seriously injured, Mark praised his friends for their quick reaction to the accident.
“My friends were sitting in the garden and I landed on the ground a few feet from them,” he revealed. “It must have been traumatic for them, but they saved my life and they saved my spinal cord from further damage by making sure I didn’t move, and I am forever grateful for that.”
Mark (39), who has been blind since the age of 22, has carved out a successful career for himself as a motivational speaker, and as he revealed exclusively to VIP, he hopes to marry Simone in the near future. “We’ve had a pretty significant test through these past five years, and we will get around to getting married at some stage, we just don’t know when that’s going to be yet. When it happens, though, I know it’s going to be an emotional day.”