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Interviews

INTERVIEW:

27 February 2017

Keith Curle and Danny Grainger visit ST Holder

United fan Michael Johnstone

Alison said: “One of Michael’s best friends has just moved up to the new housing estate up the road from Pirelli so they were walking down towards town to meet other friends. The car came behind them and we believe the driver had a heart attack in the car and gone across the road and hit the boys. Unfortunately Michael got the brunt of it.

“A few of the other boys are smaller than Michael and he did say if it had been them it could have been a lot worse.

“One of the boys who was in the accident who wasn’t badly hurt phoned a friend and her mum called me.

“At the start the hospital did think they might be able to save the foot if they could keep the blood flow into it. The main vein going into the foot was totally gone but the smaller one was still there. The first operation took four hours and that was to clean the soil and grass out. That was on the Wednesday after the accident and on the Friday they took him down to check the blood flow. As the day went on we realised they were doing more than that, and they brought Michael back and they’d amputated his foot. In the end we didn’t have a choice, which did make it slightly easier for us.

“I don’t think we’ve really come to terms with it yet, after the amputation Michael got an infection which meant they had to operate again and take off more of the infected area and a bit more bone. There was another operation after that to make sure it was all clear so there were four operations in that time.

“I think the start of that process maybe started today [Monday]. We’ve had something which I can only describe as a leg with a pole on today and it’s the first time since the accident we’ve seen Michael stand up. They were doing that at physio this morning.

“I don’t think the shock has hit any of us yet. We’re just so relieved that we’ve still got Michael, it could have been brain damage or anything. So we see it that we’re lucky that it’s just part of his leg that’s gone and not him. The other family involved, bless them, have lost their dad. It’s just a total freak accident.

“All he kept saying on the night of the accident was that he just wanted to be able to play football. Everybody has been absolutely amazing. Michael was embarrassed at first, he didn’t want people to be collecting money for him and things like that. I explained that was people’s way of helping, they can’t help you physically but this is their way of supporting you.

“He also didn’t want the publicity to affect the other family involved because he didn’t want to upset them. He’s been so grown up about it all, it’s amazing.

“We’d like to say thank you to Keith and Danny for coming round to see Michael, they were so relaxed with him, it was lovely. He loved it, he was beaming from ear to ear the whole time they were there. He does support Manchester United as well, but Carlisle always come first. He was on the phone to all his friends afterwards telling them that they’d been to see him. The support from everybody in the whole community means everything to all of us, I can’t believe it.

“Going forward Michael will need months of intense physio and different fittings for the prosthetic as the swelling goes down, he could go through five or six moulds in a year.

“The staff in the RVI in Newcastle were fantastic, as were the staff in A&E in Carlisle. The First Responders and the emergency services at the scene were great as were the public who were there at the time. The ambulance driver let Michael keep his hat, everybody was just lovely. If I ever become Prime Minister I’ll definitely put their wages up for them because they were just amazing and all lovely people.

Michael’s family and friends are looking to raise money to enable him to have a prosthetic leg which will enable him to continue to play football, click HERE for more information and to donate.

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