“I’ll tell you what I can remember. It was the beginning of June 2019 – I think the 5th – and my partner Sharon and I had been in Derby for the weekend visiting my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. We came back on the Sunday afternoon.
Some friends of ours were still celebrating Liverpool winning the Champions League, so we went over and stayed for a couple of hours. It was a warm day and everyone was in the garden. I was driving so wasn’t drinking. It got to about 9pm and we decided we’d head home to get ready for work as we’d had a long weekend. That’s the last thing I can remember.
I’m told I went inside to use the toilet upstairs before we left. I must have missed a step as I came down and I fell from the top to the bottom of the staircase; about 16 stairs that come round a corner. I ended up in a heap at the bottom.
My head took most of the impact so I was knocked unconscious and had blood coming out of my ear. My friends heard a thud – they found me and called an ambulance.
A road ambulance came and I was taken to hospital in Ashford. On the way there they did some tests, including the Glasgow Coma Score which is used to assess brain injuries.
I’m told it’s at that point it was decided the air ambulance would be needed to take me to London. The helicopter landed at William Harvey Hospital to meet us and flew me and Sharon from there to King’s College Hospital in London.
I had fractures to the front, both sides and rear of my head, but fortunately the bleeding stopped by itself so I didn’t need an operation.
I had to have a CT and MRI scan, and the doctors performed checks to see if I could remember my name, date of birth, children’s names etc. The funniest part was the first time I remember talking to a doctor they asked if I knew where I was, and I said “Vegas!” We’d been the year before so it must have been a memory coming back to me, I’m not sure.
Then they asked if I knew what day it was and I said 4th or 5th June. When they told me it was in fact 12th or 13th June and I’d been there for 10 days I thought they were making it up! I don’t remember anybody else being there, even though my children (I have two girls aged 23 and 19 now) had travelled up to see me the day after it happened. But I remember absolutely nothing, not a thing. Even now, I thought it might come back to me over time but I still don’t remember anything.
I wanted to go back to my work as a Building Control Surveyor as soon as I came out of hospital, but it was Sharon who convinced me I couldn’t.
It was quite frustrating because I’m an active person; sports wise I enjoy football, badminton, cycling etc. but when I first came out I couldn’t really walk to the end of the road and back without being completely exhausted.
It took about 2-3 weeks before I felt ok again. I still suffer a lot with headaches and tiredness more than anything else. They reckon the right side of my head took the main impact and my ear was damaged, so I have permanent tinnitus every minute of every day. You get used to it though. Thankfully I didn’t break any bones in my ear, but I did damage them so I lost maybe 25% of my hearing in that ear. I also get sciatica in my hamstring and calf which is a bit strange.
To be honest Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is probably one of the only charities I’ve ever given to. I’ve seen them land on football pitches to take people away, and you never know when you might need them so I’ve always donated.