Alex's Story

10/05/2015 - Went to the Lake District on my Honda CRM 250, an early 90’s two-stroke trail bike, with 3 other guys, one of them (Andy), my engineering manager from work.

Anyway, the last thing I can remember from the actual day is getting a waterproof jacket with Andy as it was freezing cold and raining.

Next thing I know - its early August and I’m on the other side of the country....

Turns out that on an almost perfectly straight section of the forest road, there was one corner. I was heading towards Andy and another guy, presumably to find out why they were taking so long, in the mean time Andy and the other man had set off to meet me.

We (myself and Andy) had a head on collision, probably at 40 mph each, likely even more.

I was found lying on my back in a dyke, unconscious, making a groaning noise. I had absolutely no visible injuries at all - and I mean even not a scratch.

Andy had quite the opposite. His entire face had taken his impact. I took the impact to the chest and the top of my helmet, but his teeth were smashed out and he had a massively broken jaw and was immediately in a serious condition as could not breathe, to the point where he had to have CPR 3 times and a tracheotomy before he’d even gotten appropriate medical attention.

Anyway the mountain rescue came, realised the situation was way above their capabilities and called the police and ambulance who then called two air ambulances.

Upon my airlift arrival to James Cook university hospital, in Middlesbrough, it was discovered I had a brain injury (cerebral contusion) and L&R lung contusion. Due to the brain injury I was placed in an induced coma with a pressure relief valve screwed into my skull so the cranial pressure did not badly damage the brain. Immediately after the coma I was making an awful noise and had my attention focused on my left leg, so they x-rayed my leg and found out I had badly broken my left femur just by my knee, so I was put back into the coma and had an operation to put 3 screws in my the femur just by the knee. I also broke my neck in three places but just wore a neck brace to keep it straight.

At this point it was noticed I had no use of my arm, yet full use of hand. I guess the concern was focused more on the 'life threatening’ aspects.

So then it was August and I had my head together a little more. In a wheelchair, obviously had no use of my left arm, other than the hand. In September I was transferred to Preston Royal Hospital, about 20 minutes from my home address, for the last part of my hospital stay so obviously made visiting for families and friends a LOT easier than driving to Middlesbrough. 

Regarding the arm, I had read a little on the internet and suspected a BPI, yet nobody said it could have been a BPI that caused my lack of movement. I did bring the subject up and was told multiple times ‘mr Cross, you’ve had a very serious motorcycle accident you are lucky to be alive’. 

I didn’t care though. As I had no knowledge of what it was like a few months prior, all I knew was that I was stuck in hospital and couldn’t use my arm, nobody seeming to tell me anything useful.

Eventually got out of hospital, a week later I rang up and went into the Alexandria hospital in Manchester (private). Had an initial consultation, another nerve conduction test, shoulder MRI scan and it was decided I needed nerve surgery.

Went into the Wrightington hospital at 7am on 23/12/2015, had a 9 hour nerve surgery (in the youtube link I sent you), an overnight stay and went home on boxing day. Granted in no fit condition to do anything Christmassy, except get straight into bed for about 4 days.

So fast forward to now - currently having two sessions of therapy a week. Mondays is physiotherapy (stretches, keeping joints supple etc) and Friday I have hydrotherapy (in a swimming pool and getting various stretches etc again).

Had a pre-surgery electrical test which is just basically electrodes placed on the skin to detect muscle electrical stimulation and had a test again yesterday, and its better. So the operation is now classed as successful and just have to wait for nerve regrowth.

I sit here typing this with a Myolito (muscle electrical stimulator) on my arm which I have to wear all day, every day. Taking 300mg of Gabapentin 4xdaily plus 750mg of Paracetamol 4xdaily. Managed to take it down from 600mg Gabapentin 4xdaily and 1000mg paracetamol 4xdaily.

That is pretty much the whole situation in a nutshell. Used to work for my own company and fix commercial aircraft, now I can’t physically do that I am dealing with the strip down and sales of aircraft parts. Slight life adjustment have to be made in this case! 

Registered Charity No. 1100691
Registered Charity No. 1100691