A man from Northampton, who was told he would never walk or talk again after falling from a balcony while on holiday, has now found a job, a house and is planning his wedding.
Russell Errington-Thorne, aged 26, of St Davids Road in Kingsthorpe in Northampton, thought he would be paralysed for life after falling off a balcony whilst on a post-GCSE exam holiday in Magaluf, in Majorca in Spain, in 2004.
During his month-long stay in intensive care in a Spanish hospital, his mother, Gill, was even told to prepare to switch off his life support machine.
Mr Errington-Thorne has subsequently endured years of physiotherapy and rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again.
He now works for G4S Security in Moulton Park, he rents his own house, rides a moped and is planning to marry his fiancee, Sarah Haddon, aged 23, next month after the pair met while working with young people’s charity, Prince’s Trust, who supported Mr Errington after his accident.
Still unsure exactly what happened on the night of the accident, Mr Errington only knows that he fell from a balcony and sustained severe head and spinal injuries.
Mr Errington said: “Doctors said I’d never walk or talk again. It was really hard at first, always seeing my friends doing things I should be doing too. I became very depressed.”
Mr Errington’s sister Rebecca Harris said: “One day, as we tried to get him to respond to us in hospital, he squeezed my hand.
“He was in a wheelchair, and then a frame, for at least a year before he started to walk again and we were over the moon. They told him he’d never walk again but Russell has always been very stubborn.”
Miss Harris said her brother had also suffered bullying when he got home, with some seeing the siblings as vulnerable targets and calling them names.”
In 2011, Mr Errington made national news after he chased down a mugger who stole a handbag from an elderly woman on the bus.
He said: “I held him down until authorities arrived. The lady cooked me a lovely dinner to say thank you. She’ll be at our wedding.”