'At the end of the day it has happened and it is not going to hold me back': Jordan Greenwood, from Thetford, describes losing his leg in an accident a day before leaving for new life in Canada
PUBLISHED: 09:18 03 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:22 04 June 2017
Goodbyes had been said, possessions packed and a new job and life were waiting in Canada. But with 24 hours to go until Jordan Greenwood crossed the Atlantic, tragedy struck.
The 23-year-old from Thetford had a horror crash on his scooter and had to have part of his leg amputated.
It is a situation that would test anybody’s resolve. But Mr Greenwood is defying despair and looking to the future with positivity.
“At the end of the day it has happened and it is not going to hold me back,” he said. “The way I see it is I am only young. I am 23 and I still have a lot of living left to do. It goes to show your life can change in a split second.
“You have got to look to the future, you cannot be all down and negative. It could have been a lot worse - my spine and my head are fine.”
On Thursday, May 18, Mr Greenwood was riding his Peugeot scooter to visit a friend to say his goodbyes when the accident happened.
He had just left his girlfriend Clarisse Arnold’s house and was travelling down Kilverstone Road when he was involved in a collision with a car near the Thetford Garden Centre.
Mr Greenwood, who had worked for the Mildenhall-based haulage company Safepac, had a job with a haulage firm waiting for him in Canada but as he was lying in the road he knew his dream was shattered.
He said: “I woke up and I saw my leg and it was huge. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and a man came running over and told me to stop. I said to him to ring the emergency services and my top contacts. I was then shouting about my leg. I was in pain. I couldn’t feel my leg at all.”
He was flown to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by air ambulance where doctors assessed his severe injuries. He had broken his femur in two places and lost a litre of blood.
On being prepped for theatre the doctors told him to expect the worst. Mr Greenwood said he had already made the difficult decision with himself to have his leg amputated.
He said: “Even when I landed in Norwich, four people were touching my leg and I did not feel anything. Not a thing. I actually said to them ‘are you touching my leg?’
“I am quite laid back and easy going and it didn’t panic me. I knew I was in the best place. The surgeon said there was a 95pc chance they could not save my leg and I said to them ‘there is your answer, take it off’. In my mind I had made the decision 100pc.”
Just over two weeks on from the accident and Mr Greenwood is getting used to his wheelchair.
Currently he is still staying at the amputee rehabilitation service at Norwich’s Colman Hospital where he is doing gym and rehabilitation sessions every day.
He will be there until the end of June and will use a wheelchair until his prosthetic leg has been made and he can begin to learn how to walk again.
Despite everything, Mr Greenwood is already planning when he will once again be able to make his dream a reality.
He was all set to live in Oakville, Ontario, with his second cousins with Miss Arnold joining him later in the year. He said they would both be going out there “as soon as it is psychically possible”.
“The thing that annoys me is I had everything planned out in Canada, “ he said. “But it has happened now. It has been two weeks. In six months I could be walking. They said it could be up to 12 months but I will do it. I am determined to get there.
“At first I was upset. There is the odd time I think ‘I am here but what would I have been doing if I was out there?’”
He added: “Everyone who has come to see me has said ‘why are you so positive?’ But this is me. I have lost 15cm below the knee and I don’t have a foot now or knee but I will have one and I will be able to walk again.
“Losing a leg and being in a wheelchair makes you look at life differently. The amount of things I used to take for granted, kicking a football to my brother and walking the dogs.”
Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at 2.40pm, to call 101.
Pair’s gratitude to staff and friends
The couple have a lot of praise for the staff at both hospitals and have been bowled over by the amount of support shown by people.
“The staff have been amazing”, said Mr Greenwood. “The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was outstanding. And this place right here [Colman Hospital] and the physio have been amazing.”
A fundraising page has been set up to enable the couple to visit his friends and family in Canada and American who have sent their love, support and money but are unable to visit.
Miss Arnold added: “We cannot personally thank people enough. It has been crazy. My phone for the first week or so was crazy.
“I was waiting at the station the other day and someone came over and asked how he was doing.”
So far more than £2,000 has been raised and 108 donations made in eight days.
To make a donation click here