THE new deputy mayor of Clitheroe has told of his pride at his role – and how he never gave up despite having to take the agonising decision to have his leg amputated.

Simon O’Rourke, who owns Shop Mobility in Clitheroe, never thought he would be quite literally standing as the first citizen’s deputy after years of trauma-related pain.

Cllr O’Rourke was involved in a terrible accident 15 years ago, when the cab he was driving overturned on a roundabout, forcing his body through the roof.

After the accident, the 45-year-old was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome where the affected limb causes severe and debilitating pain long after an injury.

Cllr O’Rourke said: “I didn’t break any bones, but the nerve and muscle damage led to the condition, of having pain like my accident was fresh every day.”

After being told he would never walk again, the new councillor suffered years of blood clots and agonising pain and frequent admissions to hospital. But he was determined to find a way to get out of his wheelchair.

He never gave up and eventually met a specialist in amputation.

He said: “It was my decision to make though, and in the end, I just wanted to get rid of my leg, and he seemed positive about it.”

Despite several cancellations, the amputation went ahead in April 2018. Mr O’Rourke spent some time healing but immediately noticed a difference.

He was fitted with a prosthetic leg and is now walking again.

He said: “The severe pain in my back was gone, because my leg wasn’t stretching the nerves anymore. People could already see I was happier, it felt good to finally be relieved of 15 years of pain.

“Since having my prosthetic leg, I’ve had my independence back. I can walk again, and don’t need help to go everywhere."

On his new role, he said: “I’m overwhelmed. It’s strange all this has happened in the last year and feel I can give back to the community that helped me. It took a while to get used to things, but I never felt like giving up.

“People can become isolated after finding they may not walk again, but I stayed positive and now I’m looking forward to the future.”