Hitting the big 50 wasn’t so bad for one ex-serviceman, especially as he’d received his dream gift.
Mr S was thrilled with the sky dive experience that his wife had bought him for his 50th birthday. He explains: “Parachute jumping is something I’ve always wanted to do. In my younger years I served in the army, although I never got the opportunity to do a parachute jump. I was delighted to get this as a gift.”
The sky dive was booked for early February and filled with excitement, Mr S decided to make it a family outing, taking along his wife, his daughter and her partner and his parents.
On arriving at the airfield, Mr S was weighed and given lots of paperwork to complete. He was then given a detailed briefing including instructions on landing.
He was told that he would be strapped to a professional sky diver who would let him know when he had to lift his legs up in front of him so that they could land safely on their bottoms.
After being kitted out with a jumpsuit, harness, helmet and goggles, he and his wife, who was now also making the jump, made their way to the aeroplane. Knowing how much the experience meant to her husband, Mrs S had paid extra for a video of the sky dive as a keepsake of the occasion.
Once the plane reached 10,000 feet, Mr S and his partner left the plane; his wife and her partner followed behind.
Mr S comments: “The experience was exhilarating and every bit as exciting as I’d hoped it would be. As we approached the ground I was given the signal to pull my legs into a sitting position, which I did. Despite this, we seemed to be coming down very quickly. As we hit the ground hard, I felt a judder up my spine and shouted out ‘ahh my back’ as I landed.”
Mr S was very quickly airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary, where a CT scan revealed ‘wedge’ fractures to the L3 and L4 vertebrae.
After being fitted with a spinal brace and undergoing further x-rays, doctors allowed Mr S to go home on the basis that he wore the brace at all times, except in bed when he must lie flat and not turn over. Unsurprisingly, the next 8 weeks were very uncomfortable with Mr S finding it difficult to sleep or sit.
It was 9 weeks after the accident before he was able to start a phased return to work and a further 3 weeks before he was able to stop wearing the brace altogether.
Diane Parker, partner and head of personal injury comments: “This was a complex case on several levels. In addition to medical specialists, it was necessary to engage specialists in aviation and parachuting in order to be able to prove the injuries were the result of negligence on the part of the sky dive company, and not as a result of air turbulence causing the parachute to distort, as had been claimed.”
Compensation of £57,500 was recovered in an out of court settlement.