Leamington shop owner Sebastian Glyda has secured his place in a UK body building championship just one year after he lost his left leg after he was crushed by an industrial cement mixer.
Sebastian, 27, who now runs Clemens Street health store Vitamin-Shop, was laying a drive way in St Albans on July 23, 2018 when the faulty machine fell on top of him, impaling his left leg and slicing one of his kidneys in half.
The former builder endured two hours of agony as ambulance and fire crews battled to release him from the machinery and fast setting concrete,
After ten operations to save his life and leg at in St Mary’s Hospital in London, Sebastian was brought out of a three-week induced coma and told his left limb had been amputated from the knee down.
He said: “It was meant to be just a normal Monday at work when suddenly one of the screws in the machine broke.
“It was a huge piece of kit, which weighs about half a ton and it fell from around three meters in the air.
“Luckily, I got the majority of my body out of the way in time, otherwise, I don’t think I would be here to tell the tale.
“As soon as I hit the ground I felt these agonising, shooting pains running through my lower back.
“At the time I thought it was just my back bruised from the impact but in fact it was my kidney that had suffered a severe amount of damage.
“There was blood everywhere and my leg was smashed to bits.
“I think the adrenaline kept me going until I was finally released and put on the stretcher, that’s when I passed out.”
Before the incident Sebastian was an avid gym goer and would visit three times a week, pressing 200kgs on his back, but after three weeks in hospital he lost 32kgs, around 30 per cent of his body weight.
Sebastian said: “I’ve always wanted to be a competitive bodybuilder but I never found the motivation to push myself to the next level.
“The day I woke up in hospital and understood what my family had gone through, keeping a bedside vigil and told to prepare for the worst, I knew that I had to get up, get strong and make it onto that stage.
“But it was a hard battle. The hundreds of little actions you do every day without giving them a second thought suddenly became real obstacles for me.
“I lost my independence and it took a toll on my mental health.”
Doctors told Sebastian to take it easy and prepare for months of rehabilitation before he was able to walk and get back to the gym.
But within a month he was back lifting weights.
He trained on his prosthetic leg for over six months to get his body into shape and beat his rivals to the first place in the qualifying round of the PCA (Physical Culture Association) Muscle Talk Championships, in Kettering, on June 29.
He will be next competing in the disabled category of the final at The Bonus Arena in Hull on October 12 and 13 and hopes to go on to the European championships.
He said: “I couldn’t wait to get out on that stage and show everyone how far I have come.
Sebastian has now launched a legal case against his former employer Mr Concrete after he reported a fault with the cement mixer numerous times before the accident took place.
Tracey Benson, specialist injury lawyer from Slater and Gordon who is representing Sebastian, said: “This is a horrific work place accident that could have been avoided.
“Sebastian reported the fault on numerous occasions to his employers, up to ten days before the incident took place and they failed to act, leaving their hard-working employee of three years with life-changing injuries.
“In cases like these it is imperative that we make sure an individual receives rehabilitation and Orthopaedic treatment as quickly as possible so they can regain their independence, get back to work and start living life to the full, again.
Sebastian added: “Without the rehabilitation and referral to Dorset Orthopaedics to get my prosthetics, I don’t think I would be where I am now. I’m really grateful for that help.
“I do feel angry towards my employers for doing this to me. I have to live with this for the rest of my life but, it has happened, there is no point being eaten up with anger.
“It’s been almost a year now and I want to move on with my life. And I can’t wait to show off what I have achieved on the big stage.”