BRAVE Steve North, who was thrown off a bridge when a car ploughed into him, has a message for the community who have rallied round to help: thank you.
With thousands of pounds raised for his rehabilitation and a huge outpouring of support, Mr North, 38, has given his first interview in which he expresses immense gratitude for the public’s response.
Mr North plunged from the Worting Road bridge on his birthday in September 2016, falling onto a small grass verge next to the busy A340 below, where the actions of a driver saved his life. Steve has been on the long road to recovery since and told The Gazette his long-term goal is to walk once again.
After being knocked from the Worting Road bridge in September 2016, Steve has been on the road to recovery and told The Gazette that his long-term goal is to be walking once again.
Since the incident, which took place on his 38th birthday, the community has rallied round. Sitting down with The Gazette, the Festival Place duty manager recalled what happened on September 28.
Mr North, who currently lives in Skyline Plaza, Alencon Link, said: “I said to (wife) Kelly, as it was my birthday we should go into town for breakfast. So we got up, got dressed, left the house and then everything happened. We walked over the bridge and I heard this bang. As I turned around it was too late as the car had already hit me and then I instantly blacked out. All I remember was putting my hand out to push Kelly out of the way but I don’t remember if I actually touched her or not.”
Steve fell onto the small grass verge by the bridge along the A340, where the actions of a driver helped save his life.
He added: “I’ve been in contact with a guy who actually saw me fall. He stopped the traffic by putting his car across the road and if it wasn’t for him I would have been hit by another car.
“If it wasn’t for him stopping his car and stopping the traffic I may not be here today. He saved my life, and he was sat with me and Kelly holding my hand until the ambulance turned up. I am so lucky to still be alive.”
Steve’s wife Kelly North said the whole thing was over in a flash.
She added: “I don’t really remember much as it all happened so quickly. The last thing I remember was seeing his legs go over the barrier.”
After being taken to Southampton General Hospital and put into an induced coma, Steve was then moved to Salisbury hospital until he was finally told he could go home at the end of January this year.
Steve believes that he landed on his feet, and was told by doctors that from his 10th rib down he had completely shattered or fractured most of the bones in his legs.
During his time in hospital he had 17 operations and more than 20 fractures realigned.
“I’ve got plates and pins in my back which are going to be there for the rest of my life,” added the keen darts player.
Kelly added: “Initially they had to be really careful of his spinal cord so he was lying flat for three weeks while they carried out the operations.
“The team in Salisbury were fantastic.”
When the news first broke of the incident there was an immediate outcry of support for Steve, with a justgiving page being set up to help support him in his rehabilitation.
He continued: “I didn’t know anything about the justgiving until Kelly told me and it was just like ‘wow’. It left me a bit speechless.”
Steve added: “I’m a Leeds United fan and got a get well soon and Christmas cards signed by all the players.
“I even got one from (former player and manager) Gary McAllister, which I was really chuffed about.”
Kelly told The Gazette that when she is at work Steve still constantly reads the messages of support, which is keeping him going.
On December 3 Steve had his right leg amputated but has now been fitted for a prosthetic and is taking his tentative first steps.
“My long-term goal is to be up and walking again. Short term is getting back to normal, into a normal routine and back playing darts,” Steve added.
Steve and Kelly said they wanted to say a “massive thank you” to everyone who has sent messages, helped raise money or been supportive.