A SILLOTH man who defied medics by learning to walk again after a quad bike crash has reflected on the incident which he says changed his perspective on life.
Alan Henderson was left with life-changing injuries when he swerved to miss a van while on a quad bike in 2013. Since then, he vowed to get his life back and learned to walk again so that he could make it to his sister’s wedding.
Mr Henderson said: “Back in July 2013, I was on a quad bike on a rural road in Cumbria. A van came around the corner at high speed. Instead of the van hitting me, I swerved on the quad bike, landing on the road and the bike crushed me.”
As it began to get dark, the 39-year-old was left in the middle of a rural road and unable to shout for help.
Mr Henderson said: “I knew I had to get myself to the side of the road as quick as possible in case any other traffic flew by. I was scared I wouldn’t be found so despite my injuries, I managed to drag myself to the side of the road and waited.
“Luckily, a family that was passing by found me and called emergency services.”
Looking down at his arm, which he recalls not looking connected to his body, Mr Henderson began to realise the true extent of his injuries.
Mr Henderson said: “The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) took me to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
“I broke my back, ruptured my spleen, punctured my lungs, broke seven ribs as well as my right arm and right leg. I also ripped my entire heel off, broke a bone in my backside and suffered a bad head injury.”
While in hospital, Mr Henderson was told he would never walk again but against all odds, he took his first steps so that he could watch his sister get married.
Mr Henderson said: “She was getting married and because I wasn’t going to be there, she was planning on cancelling it. I made it my goal to try to get better to make it to the wedding and I did. It makes me emotional thinking about it – it’s because of GNAAS that I made it.”
Although Mr Henderson admits to struggling day-to-day, he won’t be beaten. He added: “I now live each day like it is my last – having the accident and recovering from it has definitely put everything into perspective.”
GNAAS is continuing to fly through the COVID-19 crisis but has asked the public to continue its support in the face of the collapse of its community fundraising activities. Please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01768 899 150.