Dad-of two Simon Fletcher has just returned from a dream family holiday which four months ago he feared he’d have to cancel.
The 40-year-old CrossFit Pendle member tore both his patellar tendons after taking part in a dad’s race at his son’s school sports day on June 22nd leaving him in excruciating pain and wheelchair bound.
He said: “The dad’s race is notoriously competitive but I’ve never known someone to be taken away in an ambulance before!
“All I remember is running fast then stopping suddenly, hearing a ‘pop’, feeling searing pain and then falling to the floor. I don’t even know, to this day, if I won!”
Jokes aside, Simon was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where he was told that both his patellar tendons had separated from the kneecaps and without these attachment, he could not bend or weight bear on his knees.
He underwent a painful three-hour operation to reconnect the torn tendons and his legs were put in braces, with strict instructions to ensure no weight bearing for at least six weeks.
He said: “It was my 16th wedding anniversary on the day of the accident and Jane and I had plans to go out for the evening and we had booked a family holiday to Disneyland, USA, in October to celebrate my 40th birthday.
“While the night out was definitely out of the question, I knew I had to get myself back on my feet for our family holiday with our two children Amelia and James.”
It was a really tough time for all the family. Simon had to move in with his parents as they had a bungalow and he couldn’t use the stairs at home.
He couldn’t work or help Jane out with regular chores and fetching and carrying children from school and activities. But all this made Simon even more determined.
A CrossFit enthusiast who attended CrossFit Pendle almost every day, and took part in a range of weekend competitions, Simon was desperate to get back to the gym where he had received so many ‘get well soon’ messages of support from fellow members.
He said “It was really touching that I was kept in the loop through visits, phone calls and messages and as soon as I could get back there I did.
“The coaches helped create a programme of exercises which would help building back the muscles and improve my mobility and endurance. They even adapted exercises so I could do them from the floor, or in my chair with assistance.
“Being back among a positive and supportive community is not only helping my physical recovery, it is helping me mentally too.”
Mike Rawson, owner of CrossFit Pendle, said: “It was really good to see Simon back in the gym and determined to get back on his feet. Everyone is here to fully support him in his road to recovery and that team spirit is great to see.”
Simon finally got back on to shaky legs on October 2nd and had just a few weeks to learn to walk again, before setting off, on October 24th, on the holiday he feared he wouldn’t make.
He said: “To get on that flight was amazing and we had the most amazing time. I did have a second scare when a bite left my right hand swollen and so numb I couldn’t use it, but I live to tell another tale!
“I cannot thank my family, friends and colleagues enough for all their support. I’m not there yet, but am certainly well on the road to recovery. And I think I might ask if we can do an egg and spoon race next year. What could possibly go wrong?!
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