A supermarket worker told yesterday how he cheated death when he was almost cut in HALF by a luggage door of a BUS.
Drew Warnes, 25, was walking along a narrow road when the horizontal door of a single-decker flipped up and smashed him in the neck and shoulder on April 22.
Incredibly, despite being knocked 10ft into the air, Drew managed to get back on his feet and walk home but four days later he collapsed with breathing difficulties.
He was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered the impact of the crash had ruptured his thoracic duct which pumps vital nutrients into the blood.
Astonishingly, Drew is the only patient in Britain to suffer a rupture of this kind which caused his lungs to fill with six litres of potentially fatal chyle fluid.
Surgeons successfully drained his lungs of the excess fluid but told his devastated girlfriend Amy Holmes, 25, he had just a 50 per cent chance of survival after the freak accident.
But after two days under sedation, he regained consciousness and his first words to Amy were: “Will you marry me?”
Yesterday (Mon) Drew, from Spalding, Lincs., returned home for the first time since the crash and is now planning to walk up the aisle at his wedding.
He said: “I really don’t remember anything about it but witnesses say the luggage compartment lifted up and I went flying.
“I was basically 500 yards away from my dad’s house when it happened and knocked me unconscious.
“I don’t remember being hit or even coming around, I just remember waking up in hospital and seeing Amy staring at me.
“I had been planning to propose on my birthday in July but it felt right to do it then and I just blurted out: ‘Will you marry me?’ – luckily she said ‘yes’.”
Drew was taking a load of washing from the launderette to his dad’s house at 8.30am on April 22 when he was hit.
He added: “I thought the worst was over. I was back on my feet almost straight away, but then four days after I was hit, I felt that I couldn’t breathe.
“The doctors told me I’d ruptured a vital duct and were amazed because there is no medical evidence that this has happened to anyone else in Britain.
“Apparently only three other people in the world have ruptured the thoracic duct which can be deadly because it shuts down the body.
“I had to have an emergency operation and the doctor had to research it because it is so rare.
“I spent two days in intensive care and came really close to losing my life.”
Drew was rushed to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincs., before being transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where doctors found he had injured his neck and had fractured ribs.
Amy, a teaching assistant, said: “He was in intensive care at the time after the operation and doctors told me they didn’t know if he would pull through.
“When he came round he burst into tears and proposed.”
Drew, who is now walking, will stay in the neck brace for eight to 12 weeks and is expected to make a full recovery.