Life-Changing: Man realises dream of living in two-storey house and learns to walk again after horrific accident
A man who lost both of his legs in a horrific accident almost a decade ago in Lyme Regis has finally realised his dream of living in a two-storey house after learning to walk again.
Alexander Quan was left fighting for his life when a 7.5 tonne Royal Mail truck ploughed into him on his 38th birthday on October 15th, 2010. The force of the impact propelled Mr Quan through a window of the historic Mariners Hotel and he had to be airlifted to hospital after having one of his legs amputated at the scene. He was placed in an induced coma and spent a number of weeks in intensive care in the Royal and Devon Exeter Hospital. Unfortunately, he eventually lost his other leg as it was beyond repair.
Then Mr Quan, his wife Lise and their son had to leave their first floor flat in Lyme Regis, moving to a rented single-storey property just outside the town. After a long period of recuperation and relying heavily on the support of friends and family, they bought a sturdy but small three-bedroom bungalow for £405,000.
Following his injuries, Mr Quan dreamt of living in a ‘proper house’ so the modest bungalow has been reinvented into a substantial seven-bedroom, pre-manufactured modular timber-framed residence at a cost of around £460,000 complete with contemporary Stiltz Trio+ Homelift which was installed by Exeter-based Hanover Lifts. The homelift by disabled lifts specialist Stiltz means the 47-year-old is now able to travel independently around his home, all at a touch of a button.
Recalling the accident, Mr Quan said: “I remember it like it was yesterday. I’d just dropped my son off at school. I went back to the flat to get some papers for work that I’d forgotten.
“I heard a massive screeching of tyres and as I turned, the truck came hurtling towards me, pushing me straight through the window of the hotel. I blacked out and then woke up with the vehicle towering over me.
“A nurse who was passing by sat with me until the emergency services arrived. My right leg was amputated by the force of the truck as it pushed me through the window. My other leg was crushed by concrete and even though the doctors did everything they could to try to save it, it was amputated a few weeks later.”
Due to his steely determination, it took Alexander Quan just four months from the date of the accident to return to work. In 2012, he became a father for the second time to son Ethan, now seven, before moving to the bungalow in Axminster to start creating the home of their dreams.
This elegant seven-bedroomed home, now valued at £900,000 took just six months to build and boasts a games room, home cinema and bespoke 3,500 gallon pond integrated into the conservatory. Mr Quan says, despite the accident, he is a ‘lucky man’.
“In my lovely new home, I’ve got a modern Stiltz Homelift to help me get up and down the stairs. This has really improved my life, I can even use it with my wheelchair as there is enough space in the Trio+ Homelift. I get in, push the button, and that’s it. The Homelift helps me live as normal a life as possible. I’m a lucky man to have the life I have now. I could so easily have been killed. Not everyone has got this mindset but I feel you just have to crack on with life.”
Mr Quan added: “I have no hard feelings towards the driver. There is nothing I can do about what happened. It is better to move on with life. When I was in hospital, I used to go over things in my head, but eventually, I drew a line under it. I’m a positive person by nature. If I wasn’t, I don’t think I could have got through the last nine years.”
*Full height doors are no longer available on Stiltz Homelift models in the UK.