Sheffield teen ‘determined’ to go home after breaking back in horror crash three months after dad’s death

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A teenager from Sheffield has been dubbed a ‘miracle’ by doctors after surviving a horror crash which broke his back in half and caused a bleed on his brain.

Alfie Kawka, aged 17, from Wisewood, has been in the Northern General Hospital for over seven weeks since being involved in a horrific road traffic collision on Stannington Road in March - just three months after the sudden and unexpected death of his dad, Karl.

His mum, Rachel, aged 41, said Karl was ‘definitely looking after him’ that day, after Alfie miraculously survived potentially lethal injuries.

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On Sunday, March 19, while out on his moped with a friend, Alfie was pushed into oncoming traffic while attempting to overtake a car, and he was hit by another vehicle.

Alfie is recovering from injuries which nearly took his life after he was hit by a car while riding on his moped on Stannington Road.Alfie is recovering from injuries which nearly took his life after he was hit by a car while riding on his moped on Stannington Road.
Alfie is recovering from injuries which nearly took his life after he was hit by a car while riding on his moped on Stannington Road.

Alfie’s friend called Rachel while she was at work at Meadowhall to tell her what had happened as emergency services, including an air ambulance, attended the scene. The 17-year-old was given an emergency blood transfusion at the roadside before being rushed to hospital by ambulance and placed into an induced coma.

Scans revealed Alfie had sustained a multitude of serious injuries, including a broken spine, a bleed on his brain, and chest injuries.

The teen underwent emergency surgery that evening to stabilise his spine, but his devastated mum and two older brothers were told that they would not know the true extent of his injuries until he was woken up from his coma.

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Rachel said: “I remember just saying please whatever you do please don’t take him away from me because I can’t do that again.

“Three days he was in a coma. Your mind just goes into overdrive. You’re thinking how do you tell a 17-year-old boy they’re never going to walk again. It was horrendous.”

Hospital staff eventually woke him up after three long days. Previous attempts had to be stopped after his vital signs revealed just how much pain he was in.

“I didn’t want to watch when they woke him up,” Rachel said. “I left him in a coma, and I went back a couple of hours later to see him sat up in bed. It was the most amazing feeling ever.

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“To see him awake and for him to recognise who we were, I can’t even explain what kind of a feeling that was. I was an emotional wreck.”

Amazingly, Alfie could also wiggle his toes - and he still had his humour.

Rachel said: “He was talking very slowly when he first came around because he was dosed up on drugs, but he said ‘I can’t get this song out of my head’. I asked what song, and he started singing ‘We’re going to Ibiza’.”

The Vengaboys song has now been chosen to be played when he is discharged from the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre on Tuesday, June 13.

Alfie has been undergoing rehabilitation for his spinal injury, and he is currently unable to walk unaided. The family are now fundraising for a ramp to be installed at their back door to make life easier for Alfie when he is discharged from hospital with a wheelchair and crutches.

Rachel said: “Alfie has been positive from day one. It’s been seven weeks and I have noticed it’s starting to affect him now being in hospital. We just want to get him home now.

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“He doesn’t remember anything from the accident or the day before. Doctors have called him a miracle because one, he’s lucky to be alive, and two, to have movement in his legs. He has scans by his bed and it shows his back was completely in half.

“His dad was definitely looking after him that day, I can tell you that.”

To help Alfie’s family get a ramp fitted at their home, please visit their online fundraising page here.

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