A chef has been dubbed ”superhuman” by doctors after surviving a 50ft fall from his fourth-floor balcony onto a concrete pavement.
Lucky Daniel Walker, 20, broke five ribs, his left arm and right leg, fractured his spine and suffered serious kidney and head injuries when he fell from his Georgian townhouse.
He underwent life-saving surgery – including a nine-hour heart operation to fix a main artery tear and a 12-hour muscle graft – and was placed in an induced coma.
Paramedics feared he would die and doctors gave him a 30 per cent chance of survival.
But he defied all expectations and was back on his feet within a month of the incident in Bath, Somerset.
Daniel said yesterday (Fri): ”It is just amazing. I still keep looking at photos of me in hospital and the fall itself and I just can’t believe it.
”When you go through something like that it really gives you a different take on life and it just makes you think.
”A couple of the doctors said I was superhuman and it really is unbelievable. Two weeks after it happened I was wanting to get up and walk around.”
Daniel was at his flat, in St James’s Square, Bath, with his girlfriend when he toppled off the balcony in the early hours of October 30 this year.
His girlfriend – who does not want to be named – cradled him in her arms as paramedics rushed to the scene.
He was then taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary where surgeons performed a nine-hour heart operation and medics even removed muscle from his thigh to use on his shin.
Daniel pulled through the operations but did not become fully conscious until five days after the fall – at which point he thought he was DEAD.
He said: ”They woke me up and told me what had happened and everything was just a shock. I remember thinking, ‘what am I doing here’?
”I didn’t have any pain – the painkillers were good for that. It was just a shock for me.
”I was sort of aware of what was going on but even now I’m not sure it has sunk in what really happened.”
Daniel was so determined to get through his ordeal he began making up his own exercises to nurse his body back to recovery.
He is now out of hospital – only needing the temporary aid of a crutch to help him walk – and believes there will be no long-term effects from the fall.
The cook, who works as a chef at Patisserie Valerie in Bath’s High Street, has been described by mum Nicola and dad David as a ”miracle boy”.
Nicola said: ”His dad and I have been to hell and back.
”When it happened, the police phoned and said you had better get dressed and come to the hospital. It sounded like he would never make it through the night.
”We were walking round like zombies, not knowing what was going to happen.
”We were just praying and hoping he was going to pull through and it was just a horrible, horrible time.
”My heart is beating normally again now and I just feel at peace. It really is a miracle he survived.”
The fall has given Daniel a new perspective on life and he has decided to apply to study Natural Sciences at the Open University in the new year.
He said: ”People always say you never know what is around the corner. But something as serious as this changes how I want to live my life. I don’t want to be working all the time.
”I was just going to keep working. Before, I was working all the time.
”This has given me the opportunity to live my life rather than work my life. I can’t wait to start living it with my partner again.”