Man who was left in pool of his own blood for hours to run race to thank NHS for saving him
PUBLISHED: 11:05 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:29 04 June 2019
Copyright: Archant 2019
It was just over a year ago that 32-year-old Kyle Wingham was left lying in a pool of his own blood after a drunken night at a stag party in London.
Alone in a stairwell, unconscious and bleeding from his head for four hours, Mr Wingham, from Spixworth, had little chance of survival.
But now, just 13 months, later the father-of-two, who for a number of weeks was unable to walk, is training to take on Run Norwich, a 10-kilometre race around the city, to thank those who saved him.
"I foolishly drank far too much," he said. "My friends told me I left the top floor apartment at 2am and my friends then found me at 6am on the stairs."
Mr Wingham cannot remember exactly what happened. Police and medics thought there may be foul play because even though he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was surrounded by his own blood, he had not broken any ribs, which is expected in a fall.
Mr Wingham said he had been prone to sliding down the bannister of staircases when drunk, and suspects that may have been the cause.
He was rushed to St Mary's Hospital in north west London, but not before medics had to revive him when his heart stopped on the way.
And his partner Alissa, back in Norwich, received a devastating call to say she should get to his side as fast as possible.
"The doctors told my partner and my mum for the first couple of weeks that I was surely going to die," Mr Wingham said.
"And when I didn't die, that I was going to be in a perpetual coma. When I eventually woke up, they said that I was going to be in a vegetative state.
"But here I am so god bless the NHS."
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Mr Wingham spent two months at St Mary's before moving to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and finally to Caroline House, the specialist brain injury rehabilitation service run by Norfolk Community Health and Care.
All in all, he was in hospital for just four months, until September, a turnaround medical staff said was one of the fastest progressions they had seen.
But the recovery has not been easy, for Mr Wingham or his partner, who he said suffers with post-traumatic distress.
"Her parting words to me when she dropped me at the station were 'if you do anything stupid I'm leaving you'. But I got myself a brain injury and she's still with me," he said.
"My confidence was so low, I didn't think I was capable of anything and I certainly didn't think I was a good father, or partner, but this is what inspired me to throw everything behind me and my recovery.
"My employers had every right to fire me because it was a self-inflicted injury. I didn't mean to do it, but I got drunk. But they kept me on full pay the whole time."
And it is through his employer, Computer Service Centre, that he decided to sign up for Run Norwich and raise money for Caroline House.
"Trust me when I say if you have ever spent a night [at Caroline House] I will say how much trauma those staff have to go through and how brilliant they are at smiling, and being consummate professionals."
Mr Wingham also credits his recovery to his partner, who works for the NHS 111 service, and his commitment to his sons Alex, three, and two-year-old Rory.
Now, as well as raising money for Caroline House, he is urging people to not take life for granted.
He said: "Live every day to the full and be a decent human being."