Sam Waddington, a sheet metal worker from Bridlington in Yorkshire, had to have his leg amputated at the age of 24 after a car knocked him off his bike on 26 June 2013.
He was travelling home from work along Moor Lane in Bridlington on his Triumph Speed motorcycle when a Vauxhall Corsa, that was driving in front, suddenly turned right straight into his path.
Sam suffered a fracture to his left knee, which was so severe the bone pierced through his skin. He also suffered a serious head injury and damage to his lungs, and fractured seven ribs, two bones in his spine, his shoulder blade and his collarbone.
An air ambulance rushed Sam to Hull Royal Infirmary where he underwent surgery to save his fractured leg. An external metal frame and pins had to be fitted to his knee and femur.
He was then placed in an induced coma for a week in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to reduce the damage to his head and lungs.
During his recovery in hospital, Sam developed a serious infection in his left leg which restricted his blood supply. The only solution was to have his leg amputated above the knee and he had to be fitted with a prosthetic leg.
Sam Waddington said: “At first when they told me I was going to lose my leg, it felt like my whole world just fell apart. I’ve always been a really outgoing person and just got on with things, so the thought of not be able to walk again was absolutely terrifying. After the surgery, I found it really difficult being in a wheelchair so decided to get a prosthesis. When I was eventually allowed to start walking on it, it felt like a massive personal victory – like I was actually getting somewhere. But it was extremely painful, and every step I took hurt. Of course, I was pleased that I had come this far but was always wondering when the pain was going to stop.”
After his prosthetic leg was fitted, Sam found it extremely difficult to get used to and struggled to walk or move around. We worked with Sam following the accident and were able to secure an interim payment so Sam could pay for rehabilitation and get a good quality prosthesis while his claim was still ongoing.
Sam said: “The interim payment really helped with my recovery as it meant I could buy a better quality prosthesis that was far more comfortable. It helped me to become more mobile and I started to get my life back to normal as I was able to do some of the things I enjoyed doing before the accident.
“As I was able to move around better and be more active, I realised that I still had a life worth living and that the accident didn’t have to stop me from achieving my goals. I’ve always had a love of flying and this just spurred me on to achieve my life-long ambition of becoming a pilot. The compensation has really helped me reach this dream.”
Louise Riley, a serious injury solicitor at Fletchers Solicitors who on Sam’s case, said: “Sam has been through a terrible ordeal and has really battled to come to terms with losing his leg. This has been extremely difficult for him given that he was very active before the accident. 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 regain his independence. It’s great to see that Sam is getting his life back on track and is pursuing his dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot.”
Following his extensive training, Sam has now achieved his helicopter pilot licence. He is now looking to pass his official qualifications so he can join the air ambulance.
Sam continued: “Since the accident, my main focus has been on living life to the full as best as I can and being able to get in a helicopter and learn to fly has been incredible. It sounds like a cliché, but when something like this happens that affects your entire life, it makes you realise what’s important. I was working in a factory for 10 years, but now after the accident I’m doing things I’d only ever dreamed about. Eventually, I would like to fly for the Air Ambulance as they helped save my life and hopefully, one day, I can help save someone too.”