A man told he would never walk again has become a personal trainer – and has marked the achievement with an ‘evolution’ tattoo showing his recovery.
Neil Foulds, 42, was told he would never walk, move or breathe by himself again after waking up from major surgery following a motorbike accident in April 2014.
But the dad-of-two, who is nicknamed ‘The Machine’, said he remained mentally strong and was determined to recover for his family.
Now, the self-confessed fitness fanatic has a tattoo on his calf showing his step by step Darwin-esque evolution from being in a wheelchair, to walking frame, to walking stick and finally to walking.
Recalling the day he was thrown from his motorbike, Neil said: “Everything happened in slow motion. As I looked down, I thought ‘this is going to hurt’.”
He had been rushed to hospital by air ambulance and given a 20 per cent chance of survival.
After undergoing surgery and being told he would face months in hospital, Neil’s inspirational journey began and he was determined to recover for his wife Alex, 30, daughter Lauren, 21 and son Finlay, eight.
“I was just thinking, I can’t let my family down. I’m not having my son, my daughter and my wife be my carers.
“I’ve always been mentally strong – if you give me a challenge I will do it.”
Seven months after the accident, Neil, who lives in Halifax, West Yorks., had made so much progress that he was able to return to his job as a service engineer.
His surgeon was even shocked by his astounding recovery telling him “you shouldn’t be here, you were lucky to even survive”.
Although he was back at work, Neil knew his heart wasn’t set on sitting in an office all day.
Taking the plunge, he decided to take a personal training course.
His business, Machines Training UK, began in October and Neil has dreams to help people achieve their goals – no matter what their ability.
Despite his progress, he still suffers day-to-day problems himself, such as nerve pain, affected bladder and bowel function and his left arm and shoulder are still partially paralysed.
He said: “I’m personal training able-bodied people, less able-bodied people, but I want to have my own little studio where people can come in, whether they are depressed, disabled or they don’t feel like they can go in to a gym.”
Machines Training UK can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/machinestraininguk/