Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living Again after Horror Cycle Crash

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Living Again after Horror Cycle Crash

Article excerpt

CYCLIST Paul Fox is lucky to be alive after a head-on collision with a car on the A1.

It was a journey he'd done many times between his Morpeth home and his pharmacy job at Newcastle's RVI. But at 7.20am on August 11 2008, while crossing the main road near Newton on the Moor, Paul was hit with such force that his brain momentarily detached itself from the rest of his body.

"It was a torque injury," says Paul, 48. "I was told that my brain had twisted at 70 miles an hour and had lost every radial connection, separating from the nerves that connect it to the body. It rewired itself back together and somehow it worked again."

As Paul can't rememrtber anything and there were no witnesses, the driver was never charged, and Paul didn't receive any compensation. But he feels no animosity towards the driver, who called an ambulance and wrapped him in a car blanket.

"Thankfully I don't remember anything about that day, even the morning before the accident," says Paul. "It never cascaded down to long-term memory." As Paul lay unconscious in critical care for a week, wife Pauline was told it was touch and go. Even if her husband survived he might not be the same. But eventually he waved and told Pauline, his wife of 28 years, to be quiet!

"At first I thought I know I must be 12 because I'm at the big school," says Paul. "And then I thought 'did we move to London?' because we'd thought about it at one point. I was trying to reassemble my life with missing information. I couldn't link what I was saying now, to what I said five minutes ago, but I thought everything was working fine."

Completely disorientated Paul needed one-to-one care as he started running around the ward. After five weeks he was transferred to Walkergate Park Hospital in Newcastle for intensive rehabilitation.

"One of the brilliant things about being in hospital was the education it gave me," says Paul. …

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