A dad-of-two who survived meningitis and then a horrific car smash in which he broke his spine is about to cycle 300 miles from London to Paris to help sick children.

Carpet sales manager Paul Dyson was told by doctors, who pinned and screwed the main bone in his broken back, never to run again.

But instead of giving up on sporting challenges altogether, he decided to jump out of a plane and took up long distance walking to keep raising money for charities.

Now Mr Dyson, 29, of Windhill, Shipley, has swapped his parachute jumping and walking shoes for a bicycle and later this year will get on his bike for his latest fundraising mission to help Sheffield Children's Hospital.

It was surgeons at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield who fixed his back but who had to warn him his injured back would never again stand the stress of him pounding the streets.

He said: “They didn’t say I couldn’t do it but said I might end up in a wheelchair if I did – so there was no choice really!”

Mr Dyson, who works for Chapells Carpets in Sunbridge Road, Bradford, said: “I was so thankful for what the surgeons did for me I asked my consultant what I could do in return and he said if I ever did anything else for charity maybe I could support the Sheffield Children's Hospital. As I've got children of my own it all seemed to fit together.”

In 2005 after returning from a trip to Madrid, Mr Dyson took to his bed feeling unwell and ended up in hospital with viral meningitis. Amazingly he was back at work three weeks later.

But in 2008 he was driving through Shipley when he was involved in a 70-mph crash with a stolen car being pursued by police.

He said: “All I could remember from that was putting my trainers on in the hallway – the next thing I knew was waking up in hospital.

“Apparently I’d swerved to miss the stolen car and they swerved to miss me but we hit. I’m on my third life now and I intend to make the most of it and make life better for others through fundraising as much as I can.”

Anyone who wants to sponsor him should go to justgiving.com/Paul-Dyson0