A groom nearly died from an horrific infection he picked up after breaking his knee on his wedding day – doing the DIRTY DANCING lift.
Mike Snell, 36, had just walked down the aisle with his new wife Cerise, 28, when they hit the dance floor with their family and friends.
The dad-of-four requested the DJ play classic Time of My Life – made famous for the epic overhead lift – so he could have a romantic dance with his new bride.
But he was astonished when his wife’s work colleague unexpectedly ran at him, thinking the new groom would lift her up just like Baby in the 1987 movie.
The electrical engineer wasn’t prepared and his arms gave way, causing the pair to fall to the floor, and his knee to bend sharply in the wrong direction.
He tore almost every ligament in his left knee and he ended up in hospital for a knee reconstruction instead of going on his honeymoon to Jamaica.
The unlucky groom went on to pick up an infection in hospital which was so severe he nearly died from blood poisoning.
A year after his mishap, unlucky Mike has only just got back on his feet – just in time for his first wedding anniversary.
Mike, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: “Now I can’t even hear that song or see Dirty Dancing without hearing that snap of my knee.
“If I never hear Time of My Life again I’ll be a happy man.”
Health care assistant Cerise added: “If I had any advise for wedding guests it would be to leave the groom to his bride – and leave the moves to the professionals!”
Mike and Cerise tied the knot on June 20 with their dream wedding in front of around 50 guests at Audleys Wood Hotel in Basingstoke.
They had already had their first dance and were enjoying time with family and friends, including children MJ, 11, Taylor, 10, Rocco, seven, and Logan four.
Mike went to request the Dirty Dancing classic from the DJ, hoping to cosy up beside his new wife on the dance floor.
But before he could reach her, an excitable wedding guest, Gemma Barratt, his wife’s work pal, bounded across the dance floor.
She thought the six foot three inch tall groom would be able to do the epic lift, but he wasn’t prepared and the pair collapsed in a heap on the dance floor and Mike felt his knee “snap”.
He numbed the pain with countless drinks, before being helped to his bedroom by friends.
But unfortunately by the time he got up to the bridal suite his legged had DOUBLED in size and he couldn’t even get his trousers off.
Mike recalled: “Gemma is a beautiful person and a great friend, but she just ran and jumped at me before I knew what was happening.
“The last thing I really remember properly was her landing on me and then hearing my leg snap about three or four different times.
“I was lying on the floor and she was saying ‘are you ok Mike?’ and all I could say was ‘get me to the bar’ and that was where I stayed while my leg got bigger and bigger.”
He woke up the next morning in complete agony and went to accident and emergency at North Hampshire Hospital.
An x-ray showed no broken bones – but doctors diagnosed a number of fractured or snapped ligaments – including the anterior cruciate, meniscus and medial collateral.
“They explained that everything I could have done to ruin my knee, I had actually done,” he said.
He had hospital treatment every two weeks for three months in a bid to reduce the swelling, before epic reconstruction surgery in September last year.
Surgeons rebuilt his collapsed knee during a four hour op which involved drilling metal into his bones, and making new ligaments from his left hamstring.
The operation was initially a success, but a month later he was back in hospital with an extreme infection, and had to have a series of operations to flush it out.
“Whenever I go to the hospital, I’m a legend there – they call me ‘The Dancing Guy’,” he said
And Mike found out three weeks ago the infection had “eaten away” some of the replaced ligaments, putting him back in hospital.
He was released – just in time for his first wedding anniversary – but faces having another complete reconstruction at Christmas.
“You’d never think something like this would happen from dancing,” said Mike.
“Although Gemma caused the accident we don’t blame her at all it was an accident after all.
“But I can’t listen to that song now – no way.
“I get a flash back, and if I hear it I just block it out.”