A BARNSLEY lorry driver who suffered life-changing injuries following a serious crash is aiming to inspire others after becoming a personal trainer – despite being an amputee.
Craig Walton, 33, was involved in a serious head-on-collision in November 2021 which saw emergency services trying to remove him from his vehicle for well over an hour.
As a result of his traumatic injuries, he was unable to return to work in his previous capacity as a driver and has now taken on a part-time role with the company as an administrator.
He was forced to have his leg amputated below his knee and his life was turned upside down.
Before the accident, Craig led a very active lifestyle, training at a kick-boxing gym and participating in endurance events such as the ‘Fan Dance’ – a 15-mile load-bearing walk across the Welsh mountains – and the Three Peaks challenge for charity.
But far from letting his injuries hold him back, Craig says he’s now ‘fitter and stronger’ than ever and is determined to help others facing adversity.
Instead of denting his love for demanding physical activities, the challenging nature of his injuries has made him even more determined to continue his active lifestyle.
Following extensive bespoke rehabilitation and private prosthetics provision , he is currently competing in CrossFit competitions, has trekked up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) mountain and plans to attempt the Fan Dance challenge again this summer.
He said: “It’s taken a lot of effort, but I’m physically fitter and stronger than before the accident.
“I’ve already obtained my Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification.
“But I’ve not just developed my physical fitness.
“The challenges I’ve faced due to the accident and the adjustments required to embrace a new way of life with my prosthetic have helped me build my psychological resilience.
“It’s allowed me to stay on top of my mental health and well-being and keep a positive attitude.
“Now, I want to help others.
“Even if I can help just one person overcome adversity, I will consider it a huge success.”
Since the accident, Craig hasn’t just been focused on his own physical and psychological rehabilitation.
He’s been engaging with charities, volunteer groups, colleges and other amputees in his local community.
He’s given a series of motivational talks, including one at Barnsley College and is looking forward to inspiring many others in 2023 and beyond.
Thanks to the help of law firm Thompsons Solicitors, he has also been able to receive compensation to help him rehabilitate in the best possible fashion.
He added: “The interim payments and the final compensation settlement provide me access to state-of-the-art prosthetics and a bespoke rehabilitation package.
“I can now look to the future with my partner and young daughter, safe in the knowledge that I’ll be able to enjoy a good quality of life and that we are financially secure as a family.
“I cannot express enough how vital my trade union membership was.
“I’m in a much more positive place now, but if it weren’t for the support of my legal team and their determination to get the best possible settlement, things would be very different.”