Denton man forced to learn how to eat and walk again following e-bike accident

David Harrison woke up in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors and his family with no memory of the accident. Credit: MEN Media

A man given just 24 hours to live after a horror e-bike accident has defied the odds after learning to walk and eat again.

David Harrison, 24, from Denton came off his e-bike along Alt Hill Lane and hit his head on a nearby embankment on 4 September 2022.

He sustained life changing injuries was airlifted off the narrow country road to Salford Royal hospital for surgery and was placed into a coma.

One month later, he woke up in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors and his family with no memory of the accident.

Unable to even sit up, David was told he had fractured his spine in four places, broken his neck, had sustained a fractured skull, bleed on the brain, punctured lung, broken jaw and sustained a brachial-plexus injury, where nerves are torn away from the spinal cord.

David Harrison had to learn to walk again. Credit: MEN Media

He had to learn to walk again and feed and dress himself. He has also now completely lost the use of his left arm and hand.

David said: "I was riding on the way home and came off my bike, but don't remember the crash or anything else because I have suffered with brain damage and severe memory loss.

"The hospital said when I fell off I must have shot up into the air, hit the embankment and hit my head.

"They only gave me 24-48 hours to live and the air ambulance had to come for me.

"I woke up a month later to the worst news ever. I'd been on the ICU unit in a coma and woke up to doctors and my family around me.

"They told me they thought I'd never walk again and I didn't believe it, but when I tried to sit up, I couldn't even do that.

"When I woke up I didn't have a clue what had happened and I didn't believe a word anyone was saying to me. It was a huge shock and it hits harder because I don't remember it.

"On the day it happened I had an emergency operation to rebuild my neck and spine with metal to stabilise it again."

David Harrison has also lost the use of his left arm and hand. Credit: MEN Media

After spending a few weeks 'feeling sorry for himself' and close to giving up hope, David saw another keen biker who had suffered a similar brachial-plexus injury on social media, who had designed a special arm brace.

It was a turning point, and he decided to start setting himself goals to get back on his feet.

"I was in hospital for three more months and in that time I have worked on myself and learning how to do everything again. I was in bed for so long that even when they sat me up I felt faint," David said.

"As you can imagine my mental state was very very low. I had no more goals to achieve and just didn't care anymore.

"When they stood me up for the first time I couldn't even walk two steps - my brain couldn't make my legs move.

"I've been setting myself goals the whole time and I started to succeed again. I had to learn how to feed myself, dress myself, train my right arm to start moving again but it's nowhere near to being back how it was.

"On Facebook one day I saw a man with same injury as me who has designed this arm and now he's got a finished product that means he's able to go back out on his bike and do things he loves again.

"It gave me motivation. You can give up and sit down or stand up and face up to it."

David and his family are now fundraising to help raise money to buy the specialist adaptive arm brace at a cost of £7,000.

Designed by TrinityCreative, he hopes the brace, which connects to the shoulder with a locking system, will get him back out on his bike again.

"Nerves to my left arm have fully dislodged so there's no way of fixing them and it's the same on my hand, I have no feeling," David added.

"This is the next goal now, learning to be able to ride again and go fishing again. What's happened is unbelievable.

"I still don't believe it myself. It's hard going from a fully functioning body to what I've got now but I am making the most of it. I could've died but I'm still here."

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