A miraculous recovery

Posted: January 25, 2014 in accident, Keanu, Uncategorized


We all have that case we will never forget. Despite 1000’s of patients and scenes and situations, just one will always stand out above all others. One that we always remember in minute detail. One which we wonder about what could’ve, would’ve should’ve…..

That patient who, despite medical opinions, diagnosis’s and prognosis’s, logic and common sense, proves that miracles do in fact happen

Mine….was a special little boy,who survived against all odds…https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/a-visit-to-a-very-special-boy/

And last night, I had the privilege to meet another miracle. A patient of Nicole’s, whose life changed completely in a split second 14 years ago that very night. His recollections of that fateful night were patchy, and the memories describing the last 14 years were filled with pain, fear, anger and strength.

Just another night, no different to any other, Neil and his friends were at a local restaurant, enjoying a great evening, as they had done many times over.
A slip of a foot, a misplaced hand, sent Neil tumbling over the railing on the balcony. Managing to grab hold, he hung over the edge, and felt his fingers slipping. Neil plummeted 1 story down, landing on the hard ground below.

By some cruel twist of fate, his body had fallen at an angle, and he crashed onto the parking lot below, with his back and shoulder slamming into the concrete pavement.

Battling to breath, Neil lay sprawled across the pavement, feeling no pain…in fact…. He felt nothing at all!

Paralyzed from the chest down, he lay awkwardly whilst his friends tried to move him.
Nicole arrived at this moment, having responded from the fire station, directly across the road. Preventing any further movement, she assessed the situation and went into action. Immobilized, sedated and ventilated, Neil was airlifted to hospital with 13 fractured vertebra including the dreaded Hangmans fracture.


IF Neil survived, he had a 95%chance of quadriplegia.

After 7 months in traction, multiple operations, spinal fusions and intensive therapy, Neil walked again.

A self made businessman, he pushed himself with absolute determination to recovery. 13 years later, Neil managed to track Nicole down and arranged to meet, and the two sat and reminisced every detail.

Neil had the opportunity to thank the paramedic who saved him, and filling in the blanks, finding the closure needed.

His amazing wife Sue, who witnessed the accident whilst in the early stages of their relationship, described to me how the last 13 years have been. I sat in awe, listening to how they built a relationship and ultimately a marriage amidst the most difficult circumstances.

With signs of spinal injury still evident, Neil spoke of trials and tribulations, and successes and miracles. I found him to be a very positive and humble man, and the love between the two everlasting.

Normally I don’t enjoy meetings with patients.It has always been an unwritten rule in the EMS, one I broke when I met Keanu so many years after his accident. Having spoken about him, dreamt of him, prayed and wondered, it was without a question the greatest feeling and moment I have experienced. That pure joy, seeing Keanu with Lisa, experiencing the deepest level of love between mom and son, made me realize we have been way too emotionless in our profession.

And I saw the same last night, watching Nicole and Neil talking, tears glistening while each spoke of their own experience of that fateful night.

Injury specific, Neil should not have been sitting sitting in front of us, having dinner and getting to know each other. And if, by some miracle, he had survived, should have been a quadriplegic. Yet here he was, walking and talking.

Do miracles exist?

Lisa and Sue can answer that, and Keanu and Neil can attest for that.

  1. keanusantos says:

    One thing you forgot to mention……yes, Keanu is a miracle and he’s a real fighter and never gave up……BUT it was you who saved his life and gave him that chance to fight and survive. Please come see us again. xxx

  2. Wow !!!! So very proud of you and Nicole xxx You are both very special xxx

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