A HORRIFIC accident has left a popular Corfe Mullen man paralysed and facing months in hospital with a catalogue of serious injuries.
Mike Payne plunged from the Lady Wimborne Bridge as he enjoyed a camp fire with friends and broke his back, severed his spinal cord and broke 16 ribs.
The 31-year-old also suffered a punctured lung and damaged his spleen and kidneys in the accident, after which he was put in an induced coma for two weeks before being moved to a specialist spinal unit at Odstock Hospital in Salisbury.
Mike, a former pupil of Corfe Hills and Lockyers schools, is now paralysed from the waist down and facing months of treatment before he will be allowed home to his parents Chris and Norman.
The incident took place at the end of June, just weeks before Mike and his friends were set to take part in Pirate Pedal, a fundraising event for Julia’s House. They had already had photographs taken to promote the event.
It was postponed, but this weekend it will go ahead with the original team members as well as many of Mike’s family and friends who are joining in to raise money for specialist equipment to help him when he is discharged from hospital.
It is certain to be an emotional moment as they set out from the White Hart pub in Wimborne at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday August 11 and 12.
Mike’s sister, Kerry, told the Daily Echo: “What happened to Mikey is terrible.
“He was sitting on the edge of the bridge – one minute he was there and the next he wasn’t.
“The first his friends knew of it was when they heard a bang. He can’t remember anything from the night but he has been incredible. The other day he said ‘I have got an amazing family and amazing friends – it’s just that half of me doesn’t work any more’.
“I’m not sure I would be able to think like that in his position.”
Mike, who works for Wimborne electronics company MSH, was one of a team of four who hoped to raise money for Julia’s House with a 200-mile sponsored cycle in 24 hours.
The event has now changed with original team members Holly Hooper, Pete Morris and Jade Hooper now planning to cycle 200 miles in total over the weekend. Mike’s family and friends who will also cycle part of the route.
The group will leave the White Hart pub at 10am on both days but will be returning during the day to collect more participants.
A collection is under way at the pub, organised by Mike’s girlfriend Emily Jane Sargeant and friend Marge Goymer, for Mike and his family.
All other money raised through sponsorship will go to Julia’s House.