By Becca Husselbee
A 14-year-old gymnast who broke his neck whilst practicing on a trampoline has been described as a medical miracle after walking just four days following his accident.
Aiden Horsley, from Gloucester, stunned doctors at Bristol Children’s hospital who believed he may never walk again following the accident at his home.
The teenager, who trains in acro-gymnastics and tumbling for three hours every day, was practicing in his garden with his younger brothers, Ryan 11 and Liam, eight, when he misjudged a flip and broke the vertebrae in his neck.
Parents, Karen, 42, and Shane, 51, feared the worst when doctors told them that many people with Aiden’s injuries don’t walk out of the hospital again.
Karen said: “We all know how lucky Aiden is after what happened, the doctors described him as a medical miracle and asked if they could use his notes and scans for research.
“When they took him to Bristol Children’s hospital we began to realise how serious his injuries were, originally I think we thought he couldn’t move from the shock.
“Every member of staff that saw Aiden that day just could not believe he was up and walking around just four days later, he didn’t even use any morphine.
“The trauma consultant told us she had never seen a person walk out of the hospital with the same injuries as Aiden, he has been so brave.”
Aiden had arrived home on his lunch break after coaching younger children at his gymnastics club when he ventured outside to use the trampoline for the first time that year.
But after a double front flip went wrong, he landed on his neck, causing damage to his spine and leaving him paralysed, before dad, Shane, called for an ambulance.
After first being taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, he was blue lighted to Bristol Children’s hospital when it was clear his injuries were more serious than originally thought.
Mum-of-three, Karen, said: “I think it was all such a shock that at first I just couldn’t take in what the doctors were saying to us.
“Aiden never got upset once, but he kept asking if he would be able to do gymnastics again and telling nurses to not let me cry.
“From the scans you could see two or three bones pushing on his spinal cord.
“After an MRI they said he would need to go for surgery where they added a titanium plate to the back of the spine and piece of bone from his hip to secure the front and a small cage around one of the disks, which he had crushed.
“I stayed with him most nights in the hospital and his dad would stayed with him when he wanted someone to watch the rugby with.”
After six hours of surgery, Aiden had to lie flat for 12 hours until over a process of days he was eventually able to sit up in bed.
But the teen, who has competed in British championships for acro-gymnastic and tumbling, stunned doctors when he was able to walk just four days after his potentially life-changing accident.
Karen said: “On Monday the physio came to see Aiden and ask if he could use his foot to push her while she sat at the end of the bed, next thing you know he had pushed her straight off.
“She was amazed and by Wednesday he had taken a few steps.
“They couldn’t believe it was the same boy and 13 days later he was back at home.”
Aiden wore a neck brace every day for six months, even when having a shower, which was eventually removed in September, last year.
The gymnast has now made a full recovery and is back training with a view to compete in September but Mum, Karen, has dismantled the trampoline after refusing to let her three children on it again.
Karen said: “All three boys train and I won’t let any of them on a trampoline after what happened.
“I have dismantled it so we can remove it from the garden.
“I can’t thank hospital staff enough for everything they did, the NHS are always there when you really need them.
“Aiden now wants to be a doctor so he can help others too.”