The following article, Truck Driver Who Lost Leg In Crash Becomes Trainer To Help Others, was first published on Flag And Cross.
<img src="https://storage.googleapis.com/prod-zenger-storage/image/e9c5db1c-8bfc-4fa8-ba0f-8c0de209291f.jpg" alt="Craig Walton lifting weights. Craig Walton, a 33-year-old fitness enthusiast, had his right lower limb amputated after a white Jaguar XE collided head-on with his 14-ton truck in November 2021. DORSET ORTHOPAEDIC/SWNS“>
A truck driver has qualified as a personal trainer to help others with life-changing injuries – after he lost his leg in a horror crash.
Fitness fanatic Craig Walton, 33, had his right lower leg removed after a white Jaguar XE smashed head-on into his 14-tonne truck in November 2021.
The dad-of-one said he was left stunned after hearing paramedics talk of a ‘possible amputation’ at the scene of the crash, on the A19, near Doncaster, South Yorks.
But just a few hours later, he shared an emotional call with his wife Alice, 32, where she told him “not to worry” before his crushed right leg was cut away below his knee.
Craig, who previously trained in the gym four times a week, remembered ‘crying his eyes out’ after the first part of the operation was complete.
However, he soon began putting together a plan for the future, which began with learning to walk before his daughter’s birth a few months later.
He later conquered Yr Wyddfa, also known as Snowdon, and even did the ‘Fan Dance’, a 15-mile weighted walk challenge, which forms part of the SAS selection process.
And Craig, who qualified as a personal trainer specializing in disabled clients in July this year, said he’s been humbled to receive calls from potential clients.
He said: “It’s been really rewarding. I found that when I had my accident, there weren’t that many people qualified to be able to deal with me and work with me.
“So that was one of the reasons I really wanted to do it.
“[After the amputation], I remember waking up, I was barely sleeping, and I just started crying. I was in a dark cubicle.
“A nurse came in and held my hand and said, ‘Everything is going to be ok’. I then started to make plans about how I was going to get through this.
“I was up walking in February. My daughter was born on March 23… I was able to walk out of the hospital with her. That was a good day.”
Craig, from Barnsley, South Yorks., had been an HGV driver for six years before his crash on November 4, 2021, which happened on a clear, calm day.
He worked morning shifts, starting at 4 am and finishing at 10.30 am, which allowed him to fit in both a kickboxing and weight training session in the gym on most days.
But disaster struck when the white Jaguar XE estate veered onto the wrong side of the road and struck his cab, close to his headlights.
Craig said: “The impact was on my side of the cab. It was a fairly straight stretch of road. But it just swerved at the very last second.
“He sent us off into the hedge on his side of the road, and then he ended up on his side of the road. I think his car was set on fire as well.”
Craig, who was trapped in his truck for an hour, said he had realized he might lose a leg when he overheard the ambulance staff chatting at the scene.
He said: “The paramedic radioed to his colleague and he said I was ‘a possible amputation’. That hadn’t even crossed my mind until he had said it.
“I had thought: ‘They can’t be taking my leg off? Surely they can’t be taking my leg off?’ But they administered Ketemin, so I was sort of knocked out from then on.”
He was then flown by air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where he spoke to care home manager Alice, who was then 20 weeks pregnant, before the operation.
He said: “I was crying about it. And I said I needed to speak to Alice.
“But the consultant took the phone off me and started speaking to her. He said there were bones missing from my foot. It was a complete mess.
“They then put Alice back on the phone. She said they needed to take my leg off but ‘not to worry’. She said I was alive and that was ‘the main thing’.
He added: “It was a time in my life when we were going to have a baby, and then suddenly everything changed, and I had a disability. It was scary.”
Craig spent eight days in the hospital, where he went on to make a set of daily and monthly goals for his life moving forward.
Ten months to the day of his accident, he conquered Yr Wyddfa, also known as Snowdon, and began training to become a fitness instructor in September 2022.
Craig also completed the legendary Fan Dance challenge, a 15-mile (24km) march, in July this year, which he’d first done back in January 2020.
He joked: “It was probably the worst thing I’d ever done in my life. It was so hard.
“But when I was in hospital, a friend came to visit me and said, ‘We will definitely get you doing it again’.”
Craig finished his course specializing in personal training for people with disabilities in July.
And said he’d already been contacted by someone inquiring about his services.
He added: “When I got that message, I got a really good feeling that I would be a help to somebody who wouldn’t have maybe got what they needed to suit them.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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