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Blind Commonwealth Games hero sleepwalks out of top floor window

By Catherine Lynagh

A Northern Ireland adventurer who recently became the first blind man to conquer the South Pole is lucky to be alive after falling 25 feet while sleepwalking at his home.

Mark Pollock, who went blind at the age of 22, is in a serious condition in the Royal Berkshire Hospital after the accident on Friday evening.

Pollock — who won silver and bronze medals in rowing at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 — had been attending the Henley Royal Regatta as a spectator.

Some time after returning home on Friday, 34-year-old Pollock was sleepwalking and fell 25ft from a window into the front garden where friends immediately came to his aid.

The explorer sustained multiple broken bones, head, spinal and internal injuries in the fall.

In January last year Pollock survived the sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica to become the first blind person to reach the South Pole.

Friend Markham Nolan said the Holywood man’s newest challenge will be to recover from his serious injuries.

He said: “He slightly improved over the weekend. He is a little better — conscious and has been having a laugh with his family, but is still in intensive care.”

He added: “The doctors are waiting for the bruising and shock to subside, to better assess his condition.”

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