St Albans siblings launch campaign to buy father a bionic leg following horrific accident
- Credit: Archant
Family and friends of a motorcyclist who lost a limb after suffering horrendous injuries in a road traffic accident last month have launched a major fundraising campaign to pay for a bionic leg.
On the morning of Saturday, September 19, 49-year-old John Squires was riding his motorbike to work along the A5 when a car coming in the other direction hit him in a head-on collision.
John was sent flying through the air as a result of the impact. He was rushed to hospital and remained sedated for several days.
Despite the best efforts of doctors John, who was working as a HGV driver, had to have his right leg amputated.
In addition, he broke every one of his ribs, fractured vertebrae, snapped his arm at the elbow, has clots in his lungs, ulcers in his stomach and a heavily bruised heart. Medics are also fighting to save his left leg, which is being reconstructed from grafts taken from the rest of his body.
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Now his 23-year-old daughter, Amy, and his 21-year-old son, also named John - both from St Albans - are relying on the generosity of strangers to raise the £150,000 needed to provide their father with a bionic leg in the hope that doing so will allow him to lead a life approaching normality.
Amy, who has visited her father in hospital every night, recalled hearing news of the accident: “I was absolutely devastated. He was sedated when I went to see him and it didn’t matter how much they told us that there was no brain damage or that he would wake up, it was still awful.
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“My younger brother is a mini version of my dad, and he took it really badly. We are just trying to keep positive.
“The first thing my dad was saying after he woke up was about getting back in the gym and getting fit. He’s amazingly positive. He is an incredible person and an incredible father.”
John junior was on his way to meet his father at work when he received a phone call informing him of the accident.
He said: “My heart just dropped. They said his right leg was going to be amputated because he was losing so much blood.
“I was just hoping that he would wake up. It would mean the world to us [if the money was raised]. He is a very humble person.”
Tailored bionic limbs can be extremely expensive - often requiring the expertise of engineers, anatomists and physiologists - but ultimately afford the user a much better quality of life.
One of John’s friends, Simon Hemmings, taught himself how to code in two weeks and has built the fundraising website friendsofjohn.co.uk. In a blog published on the site he wrote: “His job was as a lorry driver, which now he will never be able to do again. He served for his country [in the Army] and is a very active man, so this accident truly is life-changing for him.
“So here is my plea: I want to raise £150,000 pounds to enable us to get John bionic. With the use of robotic limbs, his ability to get back to a normal life would be so much easier.”
For more information on John’s story, including Simon’s full blog, or to help Amy and John raise the money they need to get their father a bionic leg,