A champion kitesurfer has returned to the water just months after suffering life-threatening injuries when a stunt went horrible wrong – and left him in a coma for a week.
Lewis Crathern was thought dead when he came crashing into the sea off the coast of South Africa after a double loop trick failed – and saw him slam into the sea.
During the Red Bull ‘King of the Air’ show in February, Lewis was catapulted 75ft into the air before slamming into the concrete-hard waves at upwards of 50mph.
The 31-year-old’s injuries were so serious that doctors induced a coma and did not wake him up for an entire week.
But fighter Lewis, from Worthing, West Sussex, recovered well and has started competing in – and even winning – competitions.
This weekend at the UK WOO Kite Club Championship in his home town Lewis took top spot and has now set his sights on becoming the world number one.
He described Worthing as the “best place to kitesurf in the world” and is now on his way to Squamish (corr) in Canada to compete in KiteClash 2016.
His mum, Sandra, has described how she was terrified of her son getting back into the water so soon after his horrific accident.
She said: “It was a horrible week, because we were actually there in South Africa when it happened.
“His recovery was slow, taking various tubes out of his body and making sure the injuries were dealt with.
“When he he started talking about getting back into the water I was terrified that he would have another accident.
“I’m actually a life coach, so telling him not to do something he feels he was born to do was very difficult.
“It’s his passion, it’s what he gets out of bed for. It’s what he lives for and he really believes in what he does.”
The 56-year-old said that her champion son is now entering so many competitions that she cannot keep up.
Sandra said: “I didn’t even know he’d won this weekend. He’s always jetting off all over the place.
“He’s on his way to Canada at the moment. It doesn’t worry me so much anymore, because ultimately he’s the best judge of what he can do, and if he says he’s going to be okay, then we have to trust him.”
The three-day event sees athletes from Canada, North America and the rest of the world competing in a range of classes for hefty cash prizes.
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