My daughter posted about my broken back in the forum but my access in hospital is limited, so I will update here. These limitations are keeping me out of Facebook, but this should get autoposted.

Thanks to zip2play’s “atheist prayers” and many other people’s powerful healing thoughts, I’m here with an update.

Sunday. Railing at the top of stairs failed. Apparently, the concrete below is 11 feet, and ,of course, half my height, to give a 14 foot fall, that, thankfully, I don’t remember. Local Intensive Care Unit (ICU – What’s the USA equivalent?) worked on me through the night.

Home Of Goutpal Photograph
Home Of Goutpal Photograph. Click for more details.

As I’ve said, my editing features are limited, but I’ve found a picture that almost shows the situation. [June update: with editing features now available, I’ve improved the presentation of this photograph. I’ve also recovered my sense of direction.]
Our flat is on the right left, above the newsagent. At the end of the wall that surrounds our balcony, you can just see the railing that collapsed.

Monday. ICU about to transfer me to neurosurgeon at regional hospital, when I started to respond. Nobody needs to experience that. By the end of the day, still flat on my back, all the tubes down my throat were out. I knew I had head & back problems, but I could tell my family I loved them, especially, my beautiful wife Barbara.

Tuesday. ICU continued to probe me and raise me, or at least my spirits were raised – my back stayed firmly on the bed. As my awareness rose, I noticed painful swelling on my right knee and ankle. I was certain the trauma had triggered gout. The ICU team organized xrays to be certain. I will do more to show my love for Bradford Royal Infirmary ICU when my fingers are better. Thank you for transferring me safe & warm to your colleagues on Ward 27, where I lay, waiting to hear my fate.

Wedneday. My consultant said he’d work from the top.

  • Top of skull fracture.
  • At least 2 facial injuries.
  • Fracture near base of skull, which had been a massive concern for them.
  • Various bangs and bruises.
  • 3 fractured vertebrae in my lower back.
  • A broken right knee!

Well, I thought, that’s my life on hold for months. But, as I was sinking, he said the breaks were wide (i.e. not near the center). I should be able to sit up, and move on to standing, and walking therapy. Then they helped me sit up. Oh, the pleasure! A little diziness, but, boy oh boy, there’s light ahead.

I’m going to have to pause now, as meds are wearing off, and discomfort is moving towards the gouty level (I’m used to pain – sometimes it’s just a signal to rest).

Thursday. The light began to grow in the form of a wonderful physio team. Slowly. I learned to sit, to stand, and to take 3 steps. Personal problems mounted, of an alimentary nature, but I’ll spare you the details. My grandson gave me good advice for the future: “Go down the stairs on your bum, not your head.”

I’ll be back with more updates soon. Thank you for your love & kindness.

Final update.
I was surprised and pleased today to be put on “home when safe” status, meaning medically all I can do is wait to heal, and once I show I can perform essential tasks safely, I will be home! I’ll leave this tedious updating for now, and be back with full Internet access next week.


  • trev

    Good to see that your sense of humour is still intact, Keith. I’m sure all our regular readers and posters wish you strength and courage through a difficult time. Quite a knocking you took there!
    No doubt, when stronger , you will be pushing for improved internet access, so you can get back doing what you love doing 😉 … Good luck – from Trev

    • Well it does confirm that I will never start ski-jumping, so I guess the answer is yes. Can’t think of time the answer would have been anything else.

  • Gilles

    Just got back on the goutpal site to read about your condition!  My thoughts are with you, hope they reach you…

    • Thank you Gilles.

      I am much improved now, with one or two long term effects, which are annoying, but not painful everyday. My doctor has suggested that nerve damage to my back will take another 6 to 12 months to recover completely, but recovery is highly likely. My knee remains a problem, and may need replacing, but I’m not yet convinced that the pain and inconvenience of surgery will bring sufficient benefit, so that is still very much under review.

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