Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Football win revives coma patient

Football manager Wayne Thorne woke from his coma after hearing of his team's win

A football manager in an induced coma following a horrific car crash opened his eyes when he heard his team had won their opening game.

Wayne Thorne, 33, had just started his second season in charge of Larkhall Athletic FC, when he was involved in a head-on collision.

He spent a week in an induced coma following the horrific crash after suffering injuries including a ruptured artery and 16 crushed ribs.

But he was "given the boost he needed" when wife Mandy, 32, broke the news his team had a 4-3 victory during the away match at Bridport in Dorset.

Paul Rankin, chairman of Larkhill Athletic FC, said Mr Thorne's love of football was a main part of his life.

He said: "It was the first league game of the season, an away to Bridport.

"We won and that news was passed to Wayne and gave him a little boost. We had a follow up result this week which has continued to put him in good spirits.

"Football is his life, along with his family. We are keeping him involved as much as we can without putting any stress on him."

The collision happened two weeks ago as Mr Thorne travelled home from his job as a kitchen fitter in Cirencester.

Mr Thorne was rushed to hospital in Bristol, where doctors found he had torn the main artery in his heart, shattered 16 ribs, which punctured his lung and broke his sternum, the Bath Chronicle reported.

He is also believed to have shattered his hip and pelvis and suffered a fracture below his left knee.

The football manager underwent a series of operations and spent a week in an induced coma.

But on August 10, he opened his eyes when he was informed of his team's victory.

Mrs Thorne tweeted: " We have told Wayne the score & when Gaz said Lyno scored he opened his eyes."

She told the Bath Chronicle doctors said her husband was lucky to be alive.

"Football and sport and being active, that has been his life, so when he was in his coma we were told to talk to him," Mrs Thorne said.

"On the first Saturday Larkhall had a game and me and his brother told him the score and he opened his eyes.

"I know studies have shown that they can hear you and me and his brother truly believe he heard us.

"It was brilliant to see, because he absolutely loves his football and is so dedicated to Larkhall Athletic."

She said the couple had been overwhelmed by the support from the football club and fans.

Mr Rankin added: "We are a family club, we are a community club and we have all tried to pull together.

"Obviously as Wayne is in hospital what we can do at the moment is somewhat limited but we will do everything to help with his ongoing recovery."

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