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'I lost both legs when Royal Mail van ploughed into hotel - but I'm a lucky man'

15 Oct 2019, 12:47

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-lost-both-legs-royal-20579162

'I lost both legs when Royal Mail van ploughed into hotel - but I'm a lucky man'
Alexander Quan, from Lyme Regis, Dorset, was left fighting for his life in the horror accident

By Steve Skerry
Jane LavenderAssistant Editor
10:05, 15 OCT 2019

Alexander Quan was left fighting for his life when a Royal Mail truck ploughed into a hotel and flung him through a window.

He was celebrating his 38th birthday when the freak accident happened on October 15, 2010.

The 7.5 tonne truck smashed into the hotel and the impact flung Alexander through a window.

One of his legs had to be amputated at the scene before he was airlifted to hospital.

Alexander said: "I remember it like it was yesterday. I’d just dropped off my son to school and I went back to the flat to get some papers for work that I had forgotten.

The truck ploughed into the Mariners Hotel in Lyme Regis, Dorset

The impact meant Alexander was flung through a window

"I heard a massive screeching of tyres and as I turned, the truck came hurtling towards me, pushing me straight through the window of the hotel.

"I blacked out and then woke up with the vehicle towering over me.

"A passer-by, who happened to be a nurse, sat with me until the emergency services arrived.

"My right leg was amputated by the force of the truck pushing me through the window, and was lying on the pavement outside."

Alexander had to be airlifted to hospital after having one of his legs amputated at the scene.

The driver of the Royal Mail truck had to be cut free by firemen and was airlifted to hospital with head injuries.

He was charged with driving without due care and attention but the case was dropped.

After fighting for his life for weeks in intensive care at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, doctors had no choice but to amputate Alexander's other leg.

He said: "My other leg was crushed by a concrete wall that fell on top of me and even though the doctors did everything they could to save it, it was amputated a few weeks later."

Dad-of-one Alexander had only moved to the UK temporarily from the Seychelles 13 years ago with his wife and son so he could study for his chartered accountancy qualification.

But following his horrific accident, the family had no choice but to move to England for good.

They were forced to leave their first floor flat in Lyme Regis, Dorset, because of mobility issues and move to a single-storey home just outside the town.

Alexander had to wait for the stumps where his legs had been to heal before he could start physiotherapy to help him learn to walk again with his prosthetics.

He said: "It’s a been a long, hard struggle but, once I got my balance back and was able to walk using my new legs, life got better.

"I was determined. It took me about two years to walk properly again.

"I am still learning something new about being an amputee every day but there is no other choice but to get on with it.

"I had a wife and son, and there was no way I was going to let them down.”

Following his long recuperation, the family bought a small three-bedroomed bungalow for £405,000.

They have now transformed this into a synning seven-bedroom house, and installed a Stiltz Trio+ Homelift so he can travel independently around his home.

The Quans’ home – now valued at £900,000 - took just six months to build.

It boasts a games room, home cinema and a stunning, bespoke 3,500-gallon fish pond for Alexander's koi carp, which has been built into the conservatory.

He said: "After the accident I dreamed of having a proper house with two levels so when we bought the bungalow, the aim was always to put an upstairs on it.

"I’ve got a new, modern Stiltz Homelift to help me get up and down the stairs and it has really improved my life.

"I can even use it with my wheelchair as there is enough space for that too. I’m a lucky man to have the life I have now.

"I could so easily have been killed. Not everyone has got the mind set but you just have to crack on with life."

Despite what has happened to him, Alexander insists he has no hard feelings towards to truck driver.

He added: "There is nothing I can do about what happened. It is better to move on with life. I’m a positive person by nature.

"If I wasn’t, I don’t think I could have got through the last nine years."
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