A Crawley man who was paralysed after suffering a fall from height has been reunited with the ambulance team who came to his aid.
Youth worker, Oluwa Winzenburg, 32, fractured his C5 and C6 vertebrae and severely damaged his spinal cord when he suffered the fall from height at an outdoor centre in Surrey on 3 December 2017.
Oluwa, who fell approximately seven metres, was assessed and carefully immobilised by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) crews, Amanda Yeap, Gordon Brown, Paula Kennelly and George Crowdy after Emergency Medical Advisor Rachel Cunliffe handled the 999 call.
Oluwa was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting where he underwent emergency surgery lasting more than seven hours to repair his vertebrae.
The expert treatment at St George’s was just the start of Oluwa’s journey. Following a month-long stay in St George’s, Oluwa was transferred to the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury, an independent rehabilitation centre, for intense rehabilitation to retrain his body and in particular his right-hand side to move.
Oluwa’s rehabilitation continued at the Royal Buckinghamshire, with his hard work paying off as he took his first unaided steps on March 7, a little over three months since his fall.
He has produced a video detailing his rehab which can be found on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGLUJdUZXBc&t=36s
Following discharge from hospital on 30 April, Oluwa, who is continuing to undergo further physiotherapy, took the time recently to thank the SECAmb teams in person, attending the Trust’s Make Ready Centre in Crawley with his mother, Christiane.
He said: “I just wanted to say thank you in person for everything everyone did. Without their actions on the day of the fall, none of the rest of my recovery would have been possible. They took me directly to the best place in St George’s. I’m very pleased to have met everyone. I’m just so grateful.”
Oluwa’s mother Christiane said: “I’m so thankful to the ambulance team. They managed everything fantastically. It’s so amazing how everything has turned out. Whenever I see an ambulance now I look at it with a different perspective.”
Paramedic Amanda said: “It’s lovely to hear how well Oluwa is doing. The team worked really well together and Oluwa’s dedication to his rehab is amazing to see. It’s been great to meet again him in person and on behalf of the whole team I wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Oluwa added: “I’ve got a long way to go still but I’m definitely on the right track and looking forward to further progress.”