Man to run London Marathon after re-learning to walk following ski accident

Man to run London Marathon after re-learning to walk following ski accident
Josh Ziv following his accident and now as gears up to take part in the London Marathon (Josh Ziv/PA)

A 22-year-old who broke numerous bones in his body following a skiing accident and only learned to walk again in May is to take on the London Marathon.

Josh Ziv, who was a derivatives broker at the time, was involved in a skiing accident in Courmayeur, Italy, in February 2023, which resulted in him breaking many bones – including all the bones in his face.

“I’ve skied since I was probably about four or five so I am a confident skier, but think I took a turn maybe too fast or had a lapse of concentration and fell off a cliff, which had a 20 foot drop,” Mr Ziv, who lives in Barnet, North London and now works in the property market, told the PA news agency.

Man looking at cameraMr Ziv six weeks after his accident (Josh Ziv/PA)

“I broke virtually every bone in my face and then I broke my pelvis in a couple of places, and then my ribs and dislocated my shoulder.”

What ensued was a series of surgeries, beginning with a 12-hour operation at a hospital in Turin in March 2023 – which saw three screws being put into Mr Ziv’s hip to stabilise multiple pelvis fractures.

This was followed by a facial reconstruction surgery, which consisted of a team of surgeons carefully removing large amounts of bone from his skull that were crushed beyond repair.

These sections of bone were replaced with temporary titanium plates that held his skull together.

He had to learn to walk again using a Zimmer frame for six weeks and then crutches for roughly four weeks before he was able to walk the way he did pre-accident around May.

As he gears up for the London Marathon on April 21, he said he wanted to do something to mark the journey he has been through, even though he admitted he is not a massive runner.

Man with scar on headMr Ziv following his second surgery (Josh Ziv/PA)

“I think the thing that compelled me to do this was not being able to walk for so long and then being able to again, and then getting excited and wanting to challenge myself,” he said.

He said fitting in training around work has been manageable, but has not been without pain.

“I have screws in my right hip, but I find that when I’m running I get injuries on the left side of my body. which is overworking to compensate,” he said.

“However, it is very much enjoyable and I am having fun on my runs.”

Mr Ziv will be raising money for Changing Faces, a visible difference and disfigurement charity, which was sparked by him trying to come to terms with his changing face after the accident.

“After the first facial reconstruction, I definitely looked visibly different,” he said.

Man posing with womanMr Ziv with his girlfriend Ellie Segrue (Josh Ziv/PA)

“Coming back to London, it was tough beginning to see my family and friends again and knowing you look different.

“Whether it’s your own paranoia, you always feel that people are looking at you as I had a shaved head and a big scar that extends from ear to ear”.

“I had my second surgery in London in June and I don’t look the same but they did an unbelievable job and I’m getting my confidence back.”

He said while he knew his face changed, it was hard to pinpoint how it did exactly.

“I literally broke every bone in my face so everything looks slightly different”, he said.

“I still kind of look like myself before, but it’s tough to put my finger on exactly what has changed as it’s the whole thing.”

Man looking at cameraMr Ziv in hospital after the accident (Josh Ziv/PA)

He said running for the charity feels like a “full circle” moment.

“It’s nice knowing there is a charity that is helping people who have a visible difference and helping them come to grips with all the emotions that come with that and it is something I can really relate with,” he added.

On the big day, Mr Ziv’s friends and family are to attend and he added support from the local community and strangers alike has been “unbelievable”.

“It’s so emotionally overwhelming to see people texting and donating and sending well wishes,” he said.

“Loads of people said they’re coming down and I’m also buzzing to see my family when I do the run.

“It is nice to see this come into existence as I remember being in the hospital and initially making a joke about running the London Marathon when I’m fit again and now it’s so close to happening.

Man looking at cameraMr Ziv is now ready to take part in the London Marathon (Josh Ziv/PA)

“I’m very excited for it.”

Pascale Harvie, president and general manager of JustGiving said: “Josh is an incredibly resilient young man, and his fundraising challenge is a testament to that.

“Less than 1% of the population will ever complete a marathon, which makes Josh’s desire to do so just 12 months on from his accident so inspiring.”

Mr Ziv’s fundraising page can be found here:

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