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Balcony survivor talks about road to recovery

PUBLISHED: 11:18 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 25 August 2010

HOSPITAL BOUND: Philip Pain talks to your Times from his hospital bed. He is pictured here this week with mum, Sally.

HOSPITAL BOUND: Philip Pain talks to your Times from his hospital bed. He is pictured here this week with mum, Sally.

A 20-YEAR-OLD student who fell from a seven-storey hotel balcony in Mexico has spoken from hospital about the battle to rebuild his life.

A 20-YEAR-OLD student who fell from a seven-storey hotel balcony in Mexico has spoken from hospital about the battle to rebuild his life.

Philip Pain, 20, of Eskdale Road, Bexleyheath, suffered life threatening injuries during the fall in Mazatlan on New Year's Day.

Months later he remains bed-ridden, having been transferred to Kings College Hospital, after being treated for a broken leg and damaged internal organs in Mexico.

Within the next few days he is to undergo an operation that could see him able to use a wheelchair for the first time since the accident.

He has undergone a series of operations on his leg and is administered morphine daily to combat the pain.

On Tuesday he said: "I am really looking forward to getting out of this bed as it will help my mental and physical recovery.

"Considering what happened I am fine and in good spirits but I had such an active life and it has been hard being cooped up here in this bed.

"It may not seem like much but it will mean a lot to get into a wheelchair and out."

At one stage surgeons feared the Southampton University Spanish student may have to have his right leg amputated.

Now they have indicated they can reconstruct the bones and with some grit and determination from Mr Pain he could be up and walking in the future.

He added: "The surgeons have been very positive in the last few days and they give truthful answers to anything I have asked.

"It is going to be a long hard fight to have the reconstruction work and get walking again but if it means I get to keep my leg it is worth it continued on page 3

"I am still young and hopefully if all goes to plan the fall won't have ruined my life."

The student, who fears he was sleepwalking when he plunged from the balcony, said he and his family were "overwhelmed" by the support from people all over the world.

Within hours of his accident thousands had joined a Facebook group that was set up to find supplies of his rare type O negative blood in the Central American country.

His mother Sally, who maintains a daily vigil at his bedside said: "It took something like this to make our family realise there are a lot of angels in the world and the response from people has been astonishing."

Mr Pain added: "This has put things in perspective and made me realise that friends and family are so important. It was quite overwhelming."

The family estimate they have spent more than £80,000, some borrowed from friends and family.

As reported by the Times last week their insurance company AXA is disputing the events leading up to the accident.

This has lead to fears that Sally and her husband Neil will have to sell the home which they bought in 1988.

Mr Pain said: "I was so happy in Mexico and I wish AXA would just talk to me about this. There is no way I intentionally jumped off that balcony and when I am better I am going back to visit what is a wonderful country with happy memories."

Toxicology reports after the accident showed no sign of drugs or excess alcohol in his system.

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