A father-of-two has revived his love of motorcycle riding more than four years after he lost his leg following a horrific motorbike accident. Andrew Vasper, 52, from Brixworth had to have his leg amputated after a car knocked him off his bike in May 2012.
He was travelling home along the A5199 Northampton Road after visiting his son who lived in Brixworth. As he approached a staggered cross road, a Vauxhall Astra suddenly pulled out from a junction on the right and straight into the side of his motorcycle.
Andrew suffered extensive injuries to his leg, and his right foot was torn in half and completely dislocated from his leg. He also broke his fibula and three toes.
An air ambulance rushed Andrew to the University Hospital Coventry where he underwent emergency surgery to save his leg. He underwent six operations in total over the nine weeks that he spent in hospital. To repair the significant damage to his foot, muscle was taken from his abdomen and used to completely reconstruct it. Due to his injuries, he lost so much blood he died twice whilst in the operating theatre.
Unfortunately, Andrew’s recovery was slow and extremely painful. His foot was so large and swollen that he struggled to walk despite having to use crutches and was in constant agony. With the pain so unbearable, Andrew saw little other choice than to have his right leg removed in order to get his life back on track. Eighteen months after the accident, he was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where his right leg was amputated below the knee.
To make matters worse, Andrew suffered a significant injury to his left leg in a road traffic accident at the age of 19, which left him with a permanent disability. Tragically, he had to lose his only working leg as a result of this accident.
Andrew said: “Thinking back to the accident, I remember approaching the junction with caution as I had an inkling that the driver was going to pull out on me. He didn’t, so I carried on as normal. It wasn’t until I was actually level with the car that he did pull out, knocking me straight off my bike. My leg took all the impact and I was thrown up the road and face down into a ditch. I just remember turning over and seeing that my boot had come off and my foot was completely ripped in half length-ways.
“After the initial surgeries and when I was sent home from the hospital, I was in so much pain. I could barely walk and my foot was so big that I couldn’t even get a shoe on it; I was looking at a lifetime of having to use crutches to be able to walk. The recovery was slow and horrendous, the pain never went away and things just got worse. I knew that my leg would need to be amputated eventually as it wasn’t getting any better. I spoke to lots of different surgeons to get their advice, and ultimately made the decision to have my leg removed. Four years on I do not regret it at all, it’s the best decision I’ve made as it was just hampering my life.”
Thankfully, the amputation was completed successfully and Andrew’s recovery was much more positive. After just a short period of rehab at the West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre in Birmingham, he was fitted with his first prosthetic limb in January 2014, and took to using it quickly.
We worked closely with Andrew following the accident and our Serious Injury team were able to secure interim payments so Andrew could pay get a more suitable prosthesis while his claim was still ongoing. This was vital in Andrews’s recovery and well being.
In September 2015, Andrew received a settlement of £650,000 (which was the net amount including interim payments and liability payment – the gross amount of interim payments and net of liability was £704,000) to compensate for his life changing injuries. Post settlement, Andrew underwent gastric banding surgery.
Andrew said: “Before the surgery, I was unable to move around as freely as I had done before, so I couldn’t exercise and I just piled on the pounds. This made me incredibly depressed and my psychological health took a massive hit. But the interim payment and the compensation have been an absolute god send as they really helped in my recovery. I was able to pay for the gastric bypass surgery and a better quality prosthetic, which allowed me to become mobile again and I started to get my life back to normal. I was able to do some of the things I enjoyed doing before the accident. I am extremely grateful to Fletchers for the team’s support and guidance. They were amazing throughout the whole process and were always there when I needed them.”
Andrew has been through a terrible ordeal and has really battled with his recovery. This has been extremely difficult for him and has taken toll on various aspects of his life, such as his independence. Throughout his case, we fought for him to receive the compensation he was entitled to, in order to help aid in his recovery and help him come to terms with what has happened.Julia Eyton, Andrew's serious injury lawyer
After the accident, Andrew returned to work at his bespoke radiator designer and distributor business. Although he began rebuilding his life, his business took a huge hit as he was unable to dedicate the time and commitment needed due to his injuries. The constant operations pain and discomfort meant Andrew was unable to fulfil his client face to face meetings. Unfortunately, a short time later, Andrew had little choice but to fold the company.
Despite his ordeal, Andrew vowed not to let his injuries hold him back and prevent him from pursuing his love of motorbike riding. Four years after losing his leg, he is now back in the riding seat and is riding motorbikes both on the road and on the track.
Andrew was also extremely keen to repay the air ambulance crew that saved his life. In 2013, he won a Honda motorbike in competition held by Motorcycle News, and auctioned off the prize so that he could donate the funds to the air ambulance.
Since the accident. Andrew has gone on to lose almost 10 stone in weight and also got married in August 2016. He has now purchased a new home for himself and his family and is looking forward to the future.
Andrew added: “I’m over the moon that I’ve been able to get back on a motorbike and reignite my love of riding. Me and my wife both enjoy motorcycling, so it’s great that we’re able to share this hobby together and I’m certainly not letting my injuries hold me back. Four years on from the accident and life is finally looking brighter.”