A SNOWBOARDER who broke his back in an accident says he is lucky to be alive.
Rob Wilson was snowboarding in Valmorel in France with his girlfriend when he had a terrifying accident and ended up crashing into a tree, breaking his back in seven places.
I knew that I had done something bad but I hadn’t realised that I had broken my backRob Wilson
Remarkably, the 26-year-old who plays for Fareham Hockey Club, managed to climb away from the trees and get back on the ski-lift up the top, where he then passed out.
He has now undergone emergency surgery and is recovering at his home in Kent Road, Southsea.
‘I don’t know exactly what happened but I ended up falling off into some trees. I had fallen about five metres down a gorge,’ he said.
‘I realised that no-one would see me so I climbed out and went down to the bottom where I was meant to be meeting my girlfriend.
‘I jumped on the lift to go to the top and then I passed out. I knew that I had done something bad but I hadn’t realised that I had broken my back.’
Rob, who works as a carpenter, was flown to hospital by helicopter where it was discovered he had broken seven vertebrae.
After the surgery, he flew back to the UK.
He is expected to be signed off work for up to six months while he recovers.
Now, he said he knows how lucky he is to be alive.
‘I’m very lucky. It could have been much worse,’ he said.
‘I could have done myself a lot of damage by climbing out and skiing down but if I hadn’t done that no-one would have seen me down there so I would have ended up freezing.
‘I have been pretty positive and upbeat about it.
‘The surgeons supported the spine so I can walk around and live a relatively normal life – I just can’t lift anything.
‘Now I will try not to go mad with boredom.’
Rob has paid thanks to everyone who helped him following the accident.
‘The care was spot on. I can’t fault it. From start to finish, everyone was brilliant.
‘The insurance company has been brilliant as well. I haven’t had to shell out anything.’