A Welshman injured in a near-fatal car crash in Scotland has begun his remarkable recovery and is learning to walk again.
Stephen Taylor sustained life-threatening injuries when his van crashed into the back of a lorry near Lockerbie, in Scotland, on November 25 last year.
The 34-year-old self-employed electrician was airlifted to hospital but had to be resuscitated twice on his way to hospital.
He was taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where he spent more than two weeks in intensive care fighting for his life.
Doctors were unsure if he would survive and were concerned his significant injuries might lead to him being unable to use his legs or may even have resulted in amputation.
But just weeks after the life-changing incident, and with his legs braced with cages, Stephen has managed to stand up and begin walking during physiotherapy sessions.
Stephen grew up in Caerleon, Newport, and played for rugby for Pontypool, Newport, Cardiff Blues, and Wales Sevens under-21s.
On the morning of November 25 Stephen drove from his home in Stamford, Lincolnshire, to a job in Scotland where he was due to work for several weeks.
His partner Molly received a phone call from the police just hours later telling her Stephen’s van had crashed into the back of a lorry on the A74(M) near Lockerbie and he was being airlifted to hospital.
Molly, 22, said she set off on the fraught seven-hour journey to Glasgow.
“I had a phone call from police at about lunch time to say Steve had a serious accident and was being airlifted to hospital,” she said.
“All family were advised to get there immediately because they didn’t know the outcome.”
Stephen was taken into theatre immediately as doctors tried to treat him for severe internal bleeding.
Over the next few weeks Stephen remained in intensive care under sedation, and had numerous operations.
Both of Stephen’s knees were completely shattered in the crash along with both tibias and fibulas. A small section of bone had to be cut from his right leg because of an infection.
Stephen had to have a number of muscle and skin grafts on his knees and lower right leg.
He also broke both sets of ribs and his sternum, his left lung collapsed, and he had to undergo kidney dialysis.
Doctors expected Stephen to be in the intensive care unit for well over a month but he eventually moved to high dependency after just 16 days.
And after having cages fitted on his legs Stephen was able to stand on December 30, just five weeks after the crash.
“I had to be revived twice in the ambulance,” Stephen said. “I basically died twice.
“I think I had nine operations in total. I think they were discussing whether I could keep my legs or if they would have to cut both at the hips. Luckily I’ve still got them.
“It’s quite incredible. I get doctors and nurses now and they say I should have been brown bread. I am incredibly lucky to be here still.”
Molly and Stephen’s family have spent the entire time he has been in hospital by his side.
Over Christmas Molly stayed with Stephen in hospital but they have also rented a small apartment nearby for extra space.
Stephen said many question marks still hang over his recovery and he is preparing himself for a long period of recuperation.
Over the next few weeks he is hoping to be transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital nearer to his home with Molly.
“The hospital staff have been absolutely remarkable with their support and the quality of care,” Stephen said.
“Everything they have done for me, they have ultimately kept me alive. I am where I am now because of all the support. I can’t thank them enough.”
Friends of Stephen and Molly have started a fundraising page to help support the couple while they are off work and dealing with the expenses related to Stephen’s care.
To find out more visit their Gofundme page .