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Survivor Paul Turnbull to spend first days at home since horror crash nearly two years ago

Life-loving Slaithwaite footballer in hospital since crash on moors above Meltham

Paul Turnbull before his car accident - at work with The Championship Cup

A young footballer who suffered catastrophic brain injuries in a car crash is hoping to spend his first day at home in almost two years.

Paul Turnbull, 27, suffered severe injuries including head trauma, a broken neck and a punctured lung in an accident on the moors above Meltham, in March 2015.

It left Paul, from West Slaithwaite, in a coma and unable to move or speak when he regained consciousness.

Since then he has learned to say a few words and can rotate one of his arms on command.

Now Paul, who played for Walkers Hounds FC, is learning to brush his teeth with assistance.

But progress is very slow and it suffered major setback when a shunt used to drain fluid from Paul’s brain became infected.

Paul is taking a drug which increases his consciousness but it also causes muscle spasms.

His mum Kate said: “We’re getting ‘hi’, ‘yeah’ and ‘I’m OK’ from Paul but it’s had to slow down.

“He can only learn very slowly...

“It’s very small steps. You take one step forward and you’re six steps behind.”

Kate, who has visited Paul every day since the accident, has been forced to give up work.

Paul Turnbull, Huddersfield amateur footballer injured in car crash

The mum-of-five has had to rely on donations from friends and family to pay for the some of the treatment he’ll need for the foreseeable future.

And Kate has needed help with the fuel costs of travelling to and from The Priory rehabilitation centre, near Bury, Lancashire.

Thankfully, Paul’s friends started a series of fundraisers, included two spoof nude calendars and a gig which takes place at Holmfirth Picturedrome, on February 4 (8pm).

Family and friends are what keeps Paul going.

Kate, 52, said: “He recognises everyone from the past.

“His friend Max came and played trombone for him and he was beaming.”

And once Kate makes a few modifications to her house and receives a specially adapted car and customised wheelchair for Paul, she will be able to bring him home for the first time in almost two years.

Huddersfield soccer players plan fundraiser to help badly-injured teammate

She said: “It will really help his improvement when he is at home with his family, and the pets and the horses.”

Kate added: “Paul has always had a good attitude.

“He always smiles at his favourite staff and never gets tearful. Sometimes he gets a bit grumpy if he has to do something he doesn’t want to do...

“Before the accident Paul worked hard and played hard; he was the one that motivated everyone else. He was always the first awake in the morning. He loved life.”

Kate said: “There will be setbacks but Paul has the potential to do better and know in my heart that he will do better at home.”

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