Community – Karl’s Story

   My name’s Karl from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.

Back in May 97, I was 28 yr old working one Sunday and the weather was baking hot. Around 2pm id finished for the day (it was a Sunday) and I’d heard all the bikes tearing past so I went for a run out on my own, I had a Lucky? Strike GSXr 750 and I loved it.
I was making my way home after a good run and was approaching a line of slow moving cars, the speed limit was 60mph on this road and they were traveling at around 20mph.
The lead car was very close to the kerb so I indicated and over took them, at this point the car did an immediate U turn and I hit the car side on, I went under the car and it then dragged me through a stone wall as the car accelerator jammed.
I awoke in Airedale Hospital after surgery to various injuries, and found I couldn’t move my left arm, the doc told me I’d ruptured the nerves in my neck and it would never work again!
It was at this point I went totally into the denial mentality and just wouldn’t accept that I’d never be a bricklayer again.
After 1 week I was told of a specialist called Mr. Kay at St James in Leeds and I was being transferred over to him. After a lot of Head scratching he thought that I’d severed the nerves in my shoulder due to the severe bruising in that area, He said if all went well that I’d be back at work in 1 year and have 90% movement and 75 % strength, well I was elated and couldn’t wait to get on with it.
After 7 hrs surgery I was told that the injury was worse than had feared and that I’d avulsed nerves c 5 6 7 in my neck and that we would have to do things a little different BUMMER!!!!
I was totally gutted all I could do was weakly clench my fingers in flex my wrist. That was it.
One week went by and I was under the knife again this time to really get stuck in and mess with the spaghetti, when I came round I felt like @#%$ , I was bound up like a mummy in the HDU and had more tubes in me than god knows what, I could throw up the full length of the bed over my feet laid down it was wicked, they’d put a drain in my lung and passed a stitch thro to the outside on a bloody slip knot, when they pulled it I feel it tugging on my lung!
9 hrs this time I was out and when I came round the pain in my arm was immense, you’ve all been there right! Well I just slept all day and night put on 2 stone in weight and never went out of the house

6 mth post accident first signs of a flicker began in my shoulder if I bent over I could just move my arm a little , then the funny tingling all down my bicep Mr. Kay was ecstatic , little did I know this was the start of what was for me excellent recovery , If anyone wants any more info on the sort of things to look out for or any more info in greater detail then e-mail me and ill be glad to help.

1 year to the day after my accident I returned to work as a self employed bricklayer andI’m back riding my bike again ( YAM R1) I have around 75% movement now and if you didn’t know me you wouldn’t know I had a BPI, apart from where Zorro signed my neck! As far as work goes I never tell anyone until after I’ve started a job about my BPI, and if they’re unhappy about it, no one has actually said so.
Mr. Kay said to me ” I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself so do yer ROM” and that’s the only advice I could give.

Listed below is a time table of surgery and my e-mail addy


DIAGNOSIS left brachial plexus injury, avulsed roots C5, C6, C7.

4/6/97 Exploration of left bp neurotisation of accessory nerves to suprascapular nerve

2/7/97 Left intercostal nerve transfer 3rd – 7th motor branches to radial nerve,
Sensory branches to median nerve,
Intercostobrachial nerve to median nerve,
Oberlin’s procedure, motor branches ulna nerve neurotized to nerve to biceps brachii,

Cross neck transfer discussed but waiting on results

27/12/2001 Tendon transfer , flexor to extensor

Mr. Simon Kay
St James

Cheers: Karl