Back in April 2021, Kieran Griffiths, set out on his bike to work, as he did any other day. Little did he know that what would happen next would lead to a tragic life-changing experience.
Almost as soon as 34-year-old Kieran set off, the mechanical maintenance engineer‘s world turned upside down when a car ploughed into him head on in what was a severe road traffic collision. It caused extensive injuries to his wrists and right leg, as well as a brain injury, following the crash.
Describing the moment that would define his life for the next year, Kieran, from Openshaw, said: “I was riding to work one morning as I always do, I was probably no more than a few minutes from home – my bike was still cold - when I was suddenly hit by a driver who wasn’t paying attention.
“The only way I can describe how it felt was everything felt cold, and then it went dark. All I can remember thinking was ‘this is how I die’; it’s obviously a really strange feeling having the idea of death become so real so quickly.
“I only regained consciousness when the paramedic arrived, but after that I don’t remember anything until I woke up in hospital.”
Both of Kieran’s wrists were broken, as well as the hip, femur, tibia, and fibula on his right leg. His right knee was also severely dislocated which caused extensive damage to the cartilage and the crash had also caused injury to his brain.
For over a year, Kieran was unable to walk freely and needed to use a walking stick and mobility scooter. He was treated by the Major Trauma Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he stayed for three weeks before being allowed home to continue his recovery.
“Everyone at the hospital was exceptional. I have seen the x-rays and the damage that was done by the crash. The way they put me back together is nothing short of incredible," said Kieran.
“When I look at the scars, I think about how much surgery was needed and how deep they needed to cut into me. How they’ve managed to reconstruct my entire knee to the point where I can now go back to the gym, walk the dog, and ride my bike is incredible.
“The nurses were amazing with me whilst I was recovering. With both of my wrists shattered there was a lot I couldn’t do, but they helped me to eat and to maintain as much of my independence as I could. I can’t thank them enough.”
After his hospital treatment Kieran needed to undergo an extensive programme of rehabilitation in order to be able to walk again and get back to doing the things he enjoyed.
“I used to powerlift when I was younger and I wanted to get back to being in the gym and playing with my kids. Going to the gym is hugely beneficial for my mental health, not just the physical," he said.
“When I saw I could have my life back a switch flicked on in my head and I knew I needed to do something. That was my motivation and in just over a year I was back in gym, a few months after that I was able to ditch my walking stick and mobility scooter
“Short walks were incredibly painful for a while, but the physio work paid off and I can now walk and cycle and get on with my life. I’ve even been back on a motorbike and I’m planning on getting back on the road soon. My biggest restrictions now are getting in and out of the car and getting up and down.
“My family were also a huge motivating force for me. They were so worried and I am extremely thankful for my wife who was with me every step of the way during my recovery, she was amazing. It was difficult for her as we had just had a baby and she was supposed to be going back to work, and then all of a sudden she has to look after me as well."
Kieran is now excited for the future and is getting ready to get back on his bike.
“We’ve recently got a new puppy which is keeping everyone busy. Being able to go out and walk the dog felt impossible when I was in hospital, but it’s now a reality," continued Kieran.
“I’m also setting up my own auto-tuning business as I used to be a mechanical engineer before my injuries. One of my projects is fixing up a motorbike which I’m excited to get out on, there’s no fear – just a determination to get back to doing what I love.”