Lee Charie, 32, from Stansted Abbots in Hertfordshire, was discovered lying on the floor with the left side of his skull smashed in after the falling 22ft from a hotel walkway in Koh Tao in 2012.
UK – Lee Charie a British tourist left with half a skull after falling from a balcony on Thailand holiday has had his skull rebuilt with the same metal used in space shuttles.
Lee Charie, 32, was found lying on the floor with the left side of his skull smashed in after the fall in Koh Tao, Thailand, in December 2012.
After showing almost no signs of life for two days, medics managed to bring the TOWIE extra round, but to allow his brain to recover doctors removed a quarter of his shattered skull.
When he was well enough to be transferred back to Britain two weeks later he was handed the missing chunk of his head in a box – and carried it in his luggage.
Now, 16 months on, swimming pool maintenance worker Lee’s head has finally been fixed – with a plate made from titanium which is normally found in space shuttles.
Lee said: “There’s a big slab of titanium in my head now and I’ve got the nickname ‘space shuttle head’ from my mates.
“The first thing I thought when I got it was that when I go through metal detectors at the airport it’s going to go off.
“There has been lots of positives since having the implant. I do feel more confident with it.
“But physically I still have to be really careful with it and it can be painful. I can’t party like I used to.
“When I think about the accident I still get emotional. I think about my parents and family and what they had to go through.
“The worst part of the whole ordeal was realising emotionally that I died and they brought me back to life.
“Now I am just thinking about moving on with my life and moving into a new place. The whole thing has given me perspective.”
Lee, from Stansted Abbotts, Herts., had planned to spend 30 days in Thailand as part of a return trip to the country. But while staying in the Tommy Resort in Koh Tao, he fell seven metres from a second floor walkway.
He was in intensive care for a fortnight and his family were told he could be paralysed down his right-hand side.
Once back in Britain, experts at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge used the bone kept from hsi smashed skull to mould a six-inch lonh titanium plate for his head.
During the four hour op to fit it, surgeons had to cut open his head and use three screws to fit the titanium plate over the gap in his skull.
The procedure would normally use four screws but Thai surgeons cut his skull too far back and there wasn’t space to fit the final screw. Now Lee hopes he can finally move on with his life after a year of operations and rehabilitation.
He said: “You can’t beat yourself up about something, at the end of the day I am here and I made it through.”
“Now I am just enjoying seeing my mates and doing normal things. Enjoying the things I have missed out on. I’m looking forward to going out a lot more this year and spending good times with good people.” – Daily Mail UK