Stephen's Story

Survivor Story

Suffering from mental health difficulties led me to attempt to take my own life by jumping in front of a london tube train travelling at some speed.  I don't recall jumping but I do recall being conscious in the tracks and being very grateful that I was still alive.  I feared losing my life from the injuries I had sustained and remember telling a young woman who had stopped to hold my hand as I lay in the tracks that in the event of my death I wanted my parents to know how much I loved them.  I had a fractured pelvis, a temporal fracture and fractured ribs which had perforated my right lung causing a hemopneumothorax (my lung had filled up with blood).  I don't remember the pain I felt but when the paramedics arrived I remember telling them that I was in an immense amount of pain.  I believe I was tranquilised and by this point found it very difficult to talk.  Soon enough I was in a medically induced coma.

The whole event was a frightening experience and I remember being in a lot of shock throughout the incident.  I woke up later in a bed in hospital surrounded by healthcare staff.  They asked if I could still move my legs in case there was any spinal damage.  Fortunately I still could and hadn't sustained any damage to my spinal cord.

 I spent the next few weeks and months recovering physically and mentally from the incident.  I was told that I would make a full recovery and that I wouldn't require any surgery.  To begin with I couldn't deal with any stimulation and I could barely eat.  I remember vomitting when I tried to eat some food.  I was still experiencing a lot of the mental distress which caused me to jump in front of the train in the first place.  However, as the days and weeks passed I gradually did get better both mentally and physically.  After being on my back for a week I was mobilised and physiotherapists helped me to start walking again.  It was incredibly hard work having not used my muscles for a while but I was grateful to the point of tears for still being able to walk with the aid of crutches after the incident.  I also had to wear a neckbrace for a couple of months which meant I had quite a beard by the time it was taken off.

The care I received from the healthcare professionals in hospital was fantastic and gradually I got better.  After a month or so I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital and continued to recover there.  Eventually I was discharged from hospital entirely and returned to university and part time work as bartender.