A man has said he’s ‘lucky to be alive’ after supposedly sleepwalking off an 80ft balcony while on holiday.
While he miraculously lived to tell the tale, dad-of-two Paul Cartwright ended up with horrific injuries after the incident, having suffered a total of 28 broken bones.
He plunged four storeys from his hotel room in Malta, where he’d been celebrating his 45th birthday with his girlfriend.
His fall on Thursday 15 August left him with a fractured neck, a smashed pelvis, a broken femur and foot, along with internal bleeding and cracked ribs.
Paul, a DJ on London-based radio station MuusicFM, said his last memory was ‘having a good read’ and smoking a cigarette on the balcony, before he suddenly found himself plummeting to the concrete ground 80ft beneath him.
His girlfriend Danielle Hickey found him after getting up in the middle of the night, and Paul then spent two and a half weeks in an induced coma.
He was finally airlifted from Malta back to London Biggin Hill Airport last Saturday, in turn racking up an air ambulance bill of more than £20,000 on the way.
Paul said: “I was having a good read and that’s all I can remember.
“I was out on holiday with the love of my life and bosh – it could happen to anybody.
“I’m lucky to be alive.”
Paul, the father of twin girls who have just turned 10, believes his history of sleepwalking was what may have caused the accident – saying he was not drunk and would not self-harm.
He said: “I love my girls. I’m happy – I’m alive to be a dad to my beautiful daughters.
“They have been my guiding light through this.
“I told myself I am not going to die like this and they kept coming into my mindset.
Despite his extensive injuries, which have even led to having part of his bowel removed, Paul thankfully hasn’t lost his sense of humour.
Laughing from his hospital bed, he said: “I’m a Marvel superhero now.
“I had never even broken one bone before this… but now I’ve broken 28 in one go.
“I told my friends I survived because I’m ginger and from all the beatings I have taken.”
Paul, of Downham, south east London, has been unable to walk since the accident.
He said his ambition is to learn how to walk again unaided, and has started a fundraiser to help with rehabilitation costs.
He hopes his travel insurance will cover some of the air ambulance fees, and he is now asking for financial support to help his recovery.
Paul will spend the next five to six weeks in hospital, but medics have warned him it may take years for him to recover fully.
He added: “I can’t believe how many kind words and good will messages have been sent to me and my family.”