'Broken man': Grieving firefighter rebuilds life with 160km charity jungle run
A firefighter has run 160km through a jungle in Costa Rica, scaling 3,000 metres, in aid of a charity that supported him in the wake of the death of his mother to cancer.
Padraig Thompson (38) has completed the mammoth task across six days to raise money for CMRF, a children's medical research charity at Crumlin Hospital in Dublin. The father of two, from Clondalkin, Dublin, was grieving the loss of his mother, Columba, when he took on the challenge.
She passed away in 2017, only months after his stepfather Ollie was killed in a road accident.
Representatives from CMRF supported Mr Thompson through his loss.
"Two weeks after returning from my honeymoon [with wife Emma] in Lanzarote in May 2017, I lost my stepdad Ollie in a tragic road accident," he said.
"Then, 13 months later, after cancer showed its ugly face, I lost my mam to complications after a lung cancer operation.
"I was literally a broken man. Then, out of nowhere, a friend sent me a link to this challenge in Costa Rica."
Mr Thompson previously ran the Dublin Marathon in memory of those who died in the Rescue 116 tragedy.
The 38-year-old, who is based in Dublin Fire Brigade's Tara Street station, admitted he had "ventured into a dark place", but the fundraising challenge helped him rebuild his life. He arrived home yesterday after completing the gruelling challenge.
Mr Thompson's effort to raise funds can be helped at cmrf.org/event/run-a-south-pacific-jungle.