A Greysteel man who suffered a serious back injury after falling off a stool when checking shower doors in his own house is warning others to “think twice” when carrying out home repairs.
Raymond O’Hara, who is office administrator with Greysteel Community Association, said he is “very lucky” he wasn’t left paralysed after the fall, which happened on Easter Tuesday.
“I was checking the shower doors because I didn’t think they were closing properly, and I was standing on a stool about two-feet high. When I went to step down I caught my toe on my trouser leg and, instead of stepping down, I fell straight onto my back. I didn’t hit my head or anything, I just went straight onto the floor. It wasn’t so much the pain at the start, more that feeling of everything being hazy and feeling warm. I suppose I was in shock,” said Raymond, who believes he lay on the floor for approximately 10 minutes.
After a few minutes Raymond said he was able to move his fingers and toes, and then the “severe pain kicked in”.
The 60-year-old managed to drag himself to a telephone to call an ambulance.
“When I got to Altnagelvin I knew it was serious when they moved me to The Royal in Belfast,” said Raymond, who underwent surgery and has two metal plates and eight screws inserted in his back. Recovery since the accident has been slow, but steady for Raymond.
“I will always have a certain level of pain and I will be on medication,” said Raymond.
However, the popular DJ isn’t letting what happened get the better of him.
“There will be certain things I won’t be able to do, but there are a lot of people who are worse off then me. You have to put your mind to it, to getting better and to not feel sorry for yourself,” said Raymond, who agreed to share his story in an attempt to warn others not to be complacent when carrying out off jobs around the house.
“The surgeon said I could have ended up in a wheelchair so I am very lucky,” said Raymond.
“I would urge people to think twice when carrying out jobs around the house and to be careful. All it takes is a wee slip. What happened to me was bad, but I’m lucky.”
Raymond thanked all the medical staff who cared for him, friends and family for their support, including son Daryl, and added: “I hope to good make as near a full recovery as possible, and get back to some kind of normality.”