Car crash survivor moonwalks at Leeds rehab centre after being told he may never walk again
This is the incredible moment a car crash survivor completes a MOONWALK - despite being told by doctors that he may never walk again after a horror smash.
Marlon Laight, 29, took off his seat belt to reach down to grab his e-cigarette while driving and ploughed into a bus stop after veering into oncoming traffic.
The crash left him with a traumatic brain injury and two cracked ribs and he was rushed to hospital where he was put into an induced coma in April 2018.
Medics told his distraught mum Helen that his life-support machine may be turned off when doctors returned to work after the bank holiday weekend as he was showing no signs of life.
Marlon began moving his fingers the next day, much to his mum’s relief, and woke from his coma eight weeks after his crash.
But doctors performed a craniotomy, removing the front of Marlon's skull due to swelling on his brain.
He was without a full skull for eight months and was wheelchair-bound on his release from hospital. It was feared he may never walk again.
Three years on, after intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy in Leeds, Marlon is now walking, running and even busting a dance move after making remarkable progress.
Marlon, of Grimsby, said: “My next goal is to dance like John Travolta. I can’t wait for the pubs to open to crack out my dance moves.”
Marlon, who credits the intensive work he did at a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre MOTIONrehab with his progress, now hopes to become a physiotherapist or personal trainer himself.
He added: “I started studying the muscular system and nutrition online during lockdown. I’m eating so much better now, I’ve become a fitness freak.
“I’m hoping I can start college next year to formally study qualifications that will help me become a physio or a personal trainer.
“I want to help other people with brain injuries the way I have had help.
“I just used to take life for granted and thought it was always going to be exactly the same way.
“Ever since this accident, it has brought home the whole meaning of how precious your life is.
“My family means so much to me. I wouldn’t be here if my mum hadn’t allowed me to get this rehabilitation.”
Marlon, an electrician before his horror smash, was in hospital for eight months before being discharged two days before his 28th birthday in November 2018.
After leaving hospital, he attended MOTIONrehab for four hours a day.
The centre uses state-of-the-art robotics and virtual reality technology to help brain injury sufferers, stroke victims and children with cerebral palsy.
When he began attending in November 2018, Marlon was in a wheelchair and needed full assistance for transfers and support for all his personal care needs.
Determined Marlon took his first steps in January 2019 and pushed himself as much as he could, surprising staff with his amazing progress.
He gradually learnt to walk unaided and by August that year he was walking down the road unaided.
During the first lockdown clocked up a staggering 22 miles on his own.
Marlon added: “When I took my first steps, I cried with joy, I was so happy.
“Now I can shadow box, I can play football with my mum, I can walk, I can even run.
“I had to relearn everything. I had literally slept laid on my back for a solid year.
“I’m actually achieving the impossible, it makes me feel so proud.
“Previously, I was treated as a number but at MOTIONrehab, they saw me as an individual. They told me how to walk and how to balance myself.”
Helen paid for the treatment out of her savings after being denied funding by the NHS and the pair made the four hour round trip for four hour sessions three times a week.
But she says it was “worth every penny” after seeing his progress.
Marlon has now completed his course of physiotherapy at MOTIONrehab and works with a physio closer to home six days a week.
Helen added: “He never gave up when the doctors said they might turn his life-support machine so I couldn’t give up on him.
“He now lives independently and is doing things we were told he might never do. I was told he might not live, let alone walk. To see him doing so well now is so emotional.”
Sarah Daniel, director and consultant neurological physiotherapist at MOTIONrehab, said: “When Helen and Marlon came to us, he had just come out of hospital and was in a wheelchair.
“He needed help with absolutely everything. He is an absolute inspiration to us and to everyone.
“He shows what can be achieved with high repetition, intensive rehabilitation and practice, practice, practice.”