Student who suffered rare illness endures leg waxing for charity
HIS facial expressions and yelps of agony said it all.
Alistair Summers endured 40 minutes of painful leg waxing, but it was all for a good cause.
The University of Hull student has been recovering in hospital since October after being struck down with a rare illness, which paralysed him.
And yesterday, as a thank for all the care he has received from hospital staff, he held a charity leg wax.
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"The pain was actually worse than I ever imagined," said Alistair, 19.
"It didn't seem like 40 minutes though, it seemed a lot shorter.
"When the warm wax was put on, it felt quite nice, but then the rip came and it killed.
"It felt like when you fall and scrape your knee.
"I look like a plucked chicken now."
Alistair was diagnosed with Guillian-Barré Syndrome last October, just three weeks into his first year at university.
He was first admitted to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment and lost all movement in his body from the neck down.
What followed has been weeks of intensive physiotherapy at Castle Hill Hospital.
Alistair's diagnosis means he has to learn to walk again and is currently using crutches to get about.
Being on the recovery ward for such a long time, Alistair has obviously formed bonds with the nurses and doctors there.
And a crowd of between 20 and 30 of them gathered to watched his leg wax on Friday.
Eager to tear off the first strip was Ward 2 caterer Lesley Wilkinson.
She said: "It was a chance to get my own back after all his cheeky comments.
"He has been a pleasure on the ward and really brightens up the place.
"I think what he is doing is really good."
A few volunteers offered to pull off a strip but the majority of it was done by beautician Alison Olive, of Artisan Options in Driffield.
She said: "Men's hair goes a lot deeper into the skin than women's, so it does tend to hurt them a bit more."
But despite flinching at each strip torn and having some watery eyes, Alistair was able to laugh and joke throughout.
At one point, he asked the nurses for morphine.
Then when asked if he was going to do his physiotherapy afterwards, he held up the after-care advice sheet and said: "The leaflet says no gym work."
It is thought Alistair's brave feat has raised about £200.
He will be donating the money to Ward 2, where he is recovering.
Alistair can decide what he would like the money to be spent on.
He said: "I'm going to have a think about whether I'd like the money to go towards anything in particular.
"I might like it to go towards some new physiotherapy equipment, as that's what I have been using a lot.
"I'm really pleased to have raised £200, it was definitely worth the pain to get that amount."
Ward sister Rachel Hoggarth went in on her day off to watch Alistair.
She said: "I thought he was very brave.
"He has been an exceptional patient and has worked really hard to get where he is.
"He will have a great future."