A Limavady man told he might never walk again after a motocross accident in March has begun to make a recovery.
Dean Doherty, who was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast with a severe spinal injury after an accident at a motocross track near Magilligan, is planning on visiting the North West 200 this weekend.
He was told by doctors in March that he might never walk again but is now making better progress than expected.
His twin brother, Aidan, said feeling has returned to Dean’s legs.
Encouragingly, doctors have found that the Limavady man’s spinal cord was crushed, rather than severed as had been feared initially.
Now, the 26-year-old is planning a visit to the North West 200 this weekend where he hopes to meet his road racing heroes.
Aidan said: “He is not walking just yet but he has a bit of feeling in his legs now - down to the knee. As a man says ‘it is better that it is coming’. Slowly but surely.
“Myself and Dean are planning to head to the North West this weekend. At the beginning things weren’t sounding all that good for him. He is definitely improving.
“It’ll be on Saturday morning I’m planning to lift him at about 7 in the morning so we can head up to the North West. It’s good to get him out and about. He is not allowed to go home because he has to get his medication and things like that.
“At the weekends he can get out of the hospital a bit. He is going through a lot of physiotherapy at the minute.
“Right now they don’t seem to be doing a lot to try and get him up walking. They seem to be trying to get the muscles built up in the back first.
“They told me that is the most important part - that has to be 100 per cent before they can even try and put him up on his feet. The muscles in his back have to be 100 per cent.
“The main thing was that the spinal cord wasn’t broken. It will take a bit of time for it to heal. I’ve been doing a bit of reading about it and apparently it can take years for a nerve to heal properly if it’s badly damaged.
“Hopefully everything goes okay for the North West.
“Dean has been following the road racing for years - never misses anything. He’s been to the TT and I’m sure we’ll enjoy it.”