A BOXER once paralysed in hospital for weeks took on a gruelling ultra-marathon challenge ­— after battling mental health and a mystery illness which left him paralysed.

Jay Kenny has worked his way back to being fighting fit after a mystery illness that left him without movement in his legs.

And this weekend he took on his greatest challenge yet as he attempted a 100-mile overnight race, raising money for boxing legend Frank Bruno’s mental health charity.

Jay, a keen boxer himself, has struggled with his own mental in the past, making the cause particularly close to his heart.

He said: “I have always suffered with my mental health myself. In 2014, I had a breakdown and I ended up trying to take my own life. I felt like I could not go on.”

Just a few years later, dad Jay faced another setback, contracting a suspected infection that caused all of the feeling in his lower body to disappear.

The illness confined the once active sportsman to a hospital bed for weeks, unable to walk, again seeing his mental health deteriorate.

After getting back on his feet, he said: “I felt like I was playing Russian roulette. I didn’t know if I would be able to walk from day to day.”

During his treatment, he decided that more could be done to support mental health care.

Jay, from Tonge Moor, said: “I felt there was not enough help. The nurses were doing an amazing job, but there’s not enough funding for support.

“I was lucky enough to have the gym.”

Jay managed to return to the boxing ring 18 months after his illness ­— and in July last year, he completed his first charity run over 29 miles.

This weekend's run started at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Saturday and was scheduled to continue well into Sunday.

The route encompassed three-and-a-half laps of the East Lancs Road.

Unfortunately Jay was injured at 70.2miles into the challenge, having run flat out for 15 hours.

He said: “I had injured my groin and tried to get up again but in the end I made the final call that we just could not go on.

“I was really disappointed at the time but on reflection, I am so proud of what we have achieved in terms of raising awareness and raising money.

“We had a phenomenal response, with 11,000 views on social media, 2,000 people lining the streets along the way, and donations from taxi drivers and members of the public as we ran by.”

So far the ultramarathon has helped raise about £1,000 for charity.

Farnworth boxer Jack Flatley joined Jay and his 30-strong team of fellow runners for five miles of the challenge.

The runner’s JustGiving page is justgiving.com/fundraising/jaysultra100.