Doctors: lucky to be alive

2012-01-05 00:00

A TOP local hairstylist is lucky to be alive after he broke his neck in a horrific motorcycle accident.

Bike enthusiast and salon owner Craik Speirs (42) broke his first vertebrae when he fell from his off-road motorcycle earlier last month.

The injury was mere inches from the spinal cord and could have left him paralysed or dead, doctors told him.

When The Witness visited Speirs at his home yesterday, he seemed on the path to full recovery.

He has been booked off for the next six weeks and will start working fully by April.

He said he was injured while training with three friends in the Hilton forests for the annual Roof of Africa off-road motorcycle race.

“It was a freak accident. I was riding through the forest very slowly when I slipped on a log and went over the handlebars and landed headfirst on a tree stump. For a moment I thought I was paralysed as I could not move my hands or legs.”

He said his friends managed to flag down a Mondi Forests employee, whom they knew only as Vusi. “That man saved my life. He had knowledge of what to do, he made sure that I was lying flat and not moved and for an hour he held my hand while we waited for the helicopter.”

Speirs said after 15 minutes, he felt movement in his legs and realised that he was not paralysed.

“The doctor said I was very lucky as people who suffered this kind of injury either die or are left paralysed, while I seem to be on the way to making a full recovery.

“I have suffered many injuries before on the bikes, I have broken my wrist and my ribs, but this was the most freakish injury.”

He said while the injury was horrific, it had not put him off bikes or off-road activities.

“Although I will not be competing in next year’s race, I will not stop riding motorcycles. Off-road and adventure activities are my passion, without it, I get very bored.”

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