Car crash survivor becomes world's first tetraplegic Tough Mudder as he finishes gruelling 12-mile course in wheelchair controlled by his chin

  • Rob Camm was paralysed from the neck down in a car crash two years ago
  • The 21-year-old student now relies on ventilator to learn how to walk again
  • Has now become the world's first tetraplegic to take part in Tough Mudder
  • Though unable to conquer some obstacles, he did navigate difficult terrain

A car crash survivor has become the world's first tetraplegic to take part in Tough Mudder after finishing the gruelling 12-mile course in a wheelchair he controls with his chin.

Rob Camm was paralysed in a car crash two years ago, which left him with no movement in his body from the neck down just a week before he was due to start university.

Last month, the student became the first tetraplegic in the world who is reliant on a ventilator to learn how to walk again using an incredible robotic skeleton controlled by his thoughts.

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Rob Camm has become the world's first tetraplegic to take part in the gruelling Tough Mudder course

Rob Camm has become the world's first tetraplegic to take part in the gruelling Tough Mudder course

Now, the 21-year-old has taken part in the notorious Tough Mudder challenge - which is billed as 'probably the toughest event on the planet' - in an off-road wheelchair set on top of a quad bike.

The former rugby player, who lives with his family in Breadstone, Gloucester, said: 'I wanted to do a Tough Mudder before the accident and still wanted to do it now.

'I've got a wheelchair that's capable of doing it, so I thought 'why not?' It's a wheelchair set on top of a quad bike and I've not found anything that can stop it yet.

'People think that someone in my position shouldn't be doing what I'm doing, but I'm just going to prove them wrong.'

Although unable to conquer some of the obstacles, such as monkey bars, Mr Camm did navigate difficult terrain alongside a team of family and friends

Although unable to conquer some of the obstacles, such as monkey bars, Mr Camm did navigate difficult terrain alongside a team of family and friends

Mr Camm was paralysed in a car crash in 2013, which left him with no movement from the neck down

Mr Camm was paralysed in a car crash in 2013, which left him with no movement from the neck down

And while Mr Camm was not able to conquer some of the obstacles, including the monkey bars and mud pits as well as the high walls and narrow tunnels, he did need to navigate difficult terrain.

His specially-made Extreme X8 electric wheelchair can reach speeds of 10km per hour - and Mr Camm has even been able to clear tree branches and tow his father's 4x4 with it.

It took him through a course made up of Britain's 'deepest, darkest mud and soul-crushing terrain', according to Tough Mudder organisers.

He added: 'I do nowhere near as many physical outdoor challenges as I used to do and it is a huge thing for me to have that challenge again.'

Mr Camm, who has just finished his first year studying philosophy and politics at the University of Bristol with a 2:1, was joined at Tough Mudder in the Cotswolds by a team of his friends and family.

HOW ROB CAMM'S REMARKABLE 'EXOSKELETON' SUIT WORKS

The remarkable machine sees a cap placed on Mr Camm's head which is covered in 79 electrodes which are filled with ultrasound gel.

He then thinks about the process of walking and the cap picks up signals from his brain through his skull, and 'maps' them.

The Next time he thinks the same 'walking thoughts', the cap picks up the signals and relays them to a computer in the exoskeleton, which is attached to his torso and legs.

It decodes the signals and sends them to the legs of the machine - which is powered by hydraulics - and steps forward as he thinks about making the movement.

The 21-year-old took part in the gruelling 12-miles course in an off-road wheelchair set on top of a quad bike

The 21-year-old took part in the gruelling 12-miles course in an off-road wheelchair set on top of a quad bike

He completed the challenge to raise money for SpecialEffect, a charity which has provided technology to help him adjust to life after the accident.

The sport-loving student had just played his final rugby match for his local team Dursley RFC when he was a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident in September 2013.

He had been days away from starting pre-season rugby training at York University where he was due to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

The crash left him paralysed from the neck down, and in intensive care for 96 days with little hope of ever walking again.

Eventually he was allowed home, and in April this year he started working with experts at Rex Bionics in the UK and Rome to try out their 'exoskeleton'.

He completed the challenge to raise money for SpecialEffect, a charity which has provided technology to help him adjust to life after the accident
He completed the challenge to raise money for SpecialEffect, a charity which has provided technology to help him adjust to life after the accident

He completed the challenge to raise money for SpecialEffect, a charity which has provided technology to help him adjust to life after the accident

Mr Camm, a former rugby player, said: 'I wanted to do a Tough Mudder before the accident and still wanted to do it now. I've got a wheelchair that's capable of doing it, so I thought 'why not?'

Mr Camm, a former rugby player, said: 'I wanted to do a Tough Mudder before the accident and still wanted to do it now. I've got a wheelchair that's capable of doing it, so I thought 'why not?'

In April, he started working with experts at Rex Bionics in the UK and Rome to try out their 'exoskeleton'

In April, he started working with experts at Rex Bionics in the UK and Rome to try out their 'exoskeleton'

The machine, provided by SpecialEffect, sees a cap placed on Mr Camm's head which is covered in 79 electrodes attached to his skull which read signals in his brain and converts them into movement.

Now, he can walk using the £95,000 wearable robot, which is nicknamed Rex.

'To see my toes and my feet move forwards was pretty incredible,' he added.

'For the past two years I haven't seen that really so it's very unusual and it's quite enjoyable to see your body moving in that way.' 

To donate to Mr Camm's charity, visit his JustGiving page or text ROBC93 to 70070. 

Tough Mudder asks competitors to challenge themselves on Britain's 'deepest, darkest mud and soul-crushing terrain'

Tough Mudder asks competitors to challenge themselves on Britain's 'deepest, darkest mud and soul-crushing terrain'

Despite the torrential rain and the gruelling race, this competitor manages to keep her spirits high while running

Despite the torrential rain and the gruelling race, this competitor manages to keep her spirits high while running

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