The Extraordinary Case of Alex Lewis (Miracle Documentary) | Real Stories

(perky music) – I met Alex on top of a
ladder about 10 years ago. He came to do some work for me. When I first saw him, instantly. He was so good-looking and so nice. He’s the most laid-back guy
you can possibly imagine. Very opposite to me and very kind. So I always have this little
bit of a crush on Alex. – [Narrator] I used to be really vain. I always spend time in front
of the mirror, do my hair, make sure I looked good,
had the right shirt on, make sure my jeans are
nice and tidy, good shoes. I’m always judging everybody’s shoes. (loud laughing) We were just an ordinary family. Me, Lucy, and our son Sam. Then just over two years
ago, I caught a common cold. It was to change the course
of my life overnight. People saw that I’d lost parts of my body, but what people couldn’t see
was the incredible impact that it had on my family life. – You know Sam is scared of Alex’s face. It’s really hard for me to see. – [Alex] He knows that I don’t look right. I can see it in his eyes. He’s just like, “What, what’s happened?” You know before I fell
ill we were miles apart. – He has to work hard at this
relationship as he did before because I am certainly not
gonna feel sorry for him. (slow paced music) I remember it’s Saturday morning. Both Sam and Alex were ill. Alex just opened up the door and his eyes were popping out his head and he’s hot, he didn’t have his top on and his whole top half was just purple. Literally it was it was
happening in front of me, he was going purple. He was shivering, he didn’t really know
if I was there or not. He was like going unconscious. I didn’t know what this was. You know and for me he had the flu. (loud ringing) – [Dispatch] Ambulance
emergency tell me exactly what’s happened. – [Lucy] My husband’s
body is full of rash, it’s just rash. It just looks a state. And he’s had the worst worst headache for like two or three days. Like a crippling headache. – [Dispatch] He’s been vomiting has he? – [Lucy] Yeah, and he can’t urine. I mean it’s just always
just blood coming out. He’s just aching, he’s just aching. – [Dispatch] Okay, well we
are organising help for you. Stay on the line and I’ll tell you exactly what to do next okay? – Okay. The paramedics were in our kitchen and they put him in a seat and they couldn’t get any blood or anything out of him or do anything because his veins were shutting down. You’ve never seen anything, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never even, it just didn’t contemplate
to me that this was, this was this serious. Well when we got into
the ambulance and they sort of gave him some penicillin, I was thinking “Yeah, god
he’s gonna be okay now.” He’s in safe hands now. (ominous music) – [Narrator] Alex’s flu-like symptoms were caused by a common bacteria normally found harmlessly
on the surface of the skin. In an extraordinarily rare case, streptococcal strand A
or toxic shock syndrome had entered Alex’s body and
was attacking it from within. – The doctor came in and sat with us and told us that he had Strep A. I didn’t even know Strep A existed. Didn’t even know what Strep
A was, didn’t have a clue. Everything was dying. All his toes were dying, all his fingertips were dying, all his earlobes, his nose. (ominous music) – I thought we would lose him. I didn’t think he would survive. We had a decision to take. The surgeon said the left
arms going to kill him if it wasn’t removed. So I gave the approval for the left arm and she hurriedly spoke on and said. “And following the arm, “we’re going to have to take both legs.” And she then said, “And I’ll
do my best with the right arm.” She worked on his right arm and she worked hard on that with the hand, but the arm has to go. (high pitched ringing) (solemn music) – I came back the next morning and I felt very scared for him and very vulnerable for him. Really vulnerable. – You know after I got waken up, when I can recall the pain. I can recall seeing
friends around the bedside when things were really bad. When you’re on life support
and you’re in a coma you have no idea what’s going on. You have no concept of what’s happening. And no one’s gonna tell you
“Well we think you’re dying.” And I can recall the pain of like, “God that is really real.” You know, my legs are gone. – They called me and they
were gonna take him off his ventilator slightly to
see if he had brain damage. And all these consultants,
all these nurses around me, and they said would you ask him a question that he can shake his head at that only you two would know? In our relationship for
the last eight years every morning I’d wake up
and say “Will you marry me? “No.” So I asked would he marry me
to see if he had brain damage and he said “No.” So no brain damage. Absolutely fine, brain is working fine. (slow paced music) – [Narrator] Over nine months Alex undergoes 11 major
operations to stabilise his body. He spent most of this time in hospital away from his family. (child speaking gibberish) – Don’t tell me off. (loud laughing) – [Narrator] Alex’s partner Lucy and their three-year-old son Sam visit
him as often as they can. – [Alex] Lucy and Sam, you know those two, they mean the world to me. I’m incredibly lucky to have them. – [Lucy] Lips are on the way. That won’t open again. – Huh? – Won’t open again. – So a yawn, to laugh without hurting. – [Narrator] Today Alex is
ready for the first operation on his mouth. The family hope it will
help rebuild his face. But it will be the first
in a series of operations that could last over two years. (accent too thick) – I chose my George Clooney lips. No? – [Alex] Oh yes, to talk. – I’m brilliant, brilliant! – Look what we have. – [Alex] Is that your daddy? – Why? (melancholy music) – [Alex] It’s really hard at the moment because that poor little
lad has seen so much of his dad goes through vast
amounts of change physically. – [Lucy] For a son to
see his father like that, it’s quite scary. To see him looking like a
completely different person. Alright, say goodbye to daddy. – [Sam] Bye daddy. – [Alex] Bye Sam. – [Lucy] Kiss, give him a kiss. Give him a kiss on his old lips because he’s gonna get new lips. – I look so alien to him. I think he struggles to get close. He’ll give me a hug. But he certainly won’t kiss me. Facial surgery for the
relationship with Sam is hugely important, I think. Hopefully it will make all the difference. Ideally to look like how I used to. (loud ticking) The last half an hour I was just genuinely excited about it. Really really excited. To get to just not look like that. Yeah, I shan’t miss it. I shan’t miss it at all. (loud beeping) – [Narrator] After 13 hours in surgery, Alex has returned. (faint laughing) (ominous music) – [Alex] You know you
look at and you think, “Jesus, what on earth. “What am I looking at?” And I think it’s the shock factor. I felt very scared, I felt alone. You know, I couldn’t stop crying. And then once my surgeon explained about excess skin on the left,
I finally understood why. You’re getting tested
skin times a quick heal. You can use it again
rather than keep taking bits of skin off you. They can use the skin that
they’ve taken the first time. You know I said to Lucy, I said, “Look, maybe your folks should be warned “when I come out of
hospital what I look like. “‘Cause it is quite a shock.” And she’s like, “It’s not. “You’re looking at the wrong way.” – [Lucy] Big red cow. – [Narrator] After almost
a year of operations, Alex has returned home with the hope of adapting to a new life with his family. – Yeah it’s gone down. It’s gone down this side. It’s all gonna just grow
into your face isn’t it? – Once that goes. – Yeah that’s fine. – I know, it’s looks lopsided. – No. Look at me, straight on. No, just ’cause you’ve
got a bit sticking out which is your extra flap. No. You still look like a clown. (faint laughing) (imitates cow) – [Lucy] What does he look like, daddy? (imitates cow) – Cow. I didn’t think going into the surgery that it would have this
profound effect on certainly me and on Sam. But unfortunately it has. Come here. I wanna give you a big cuddle. – No kiss. – No I’m not kissing ya. I think if I was a three
and a half year old and I was looking at my
father in in this condition, then I would find it very
very hard and very strange. I miss that time with Sam and the closeness an awful lot. It’s sad. It’s the one thing I think that gets me to miss all that. Definitely. – He’s got customers in there John. – [Narrator] Now that Alex is at home, Lucy has returned to
running the family business. A pub and guest house on her own. – How many rooms does she want? – She’s saying this one only wants one. – Oh that’s fine, one’s fine. – Yeah? – Yeah, yeah, yeah. (loud beeping) – [Narrator] Alex is
now being looked after by a carer at home while he
continues his rehabilitation and surgery on his mouth. – It’s really really hard the first time I’d got
back into bed with him to have a cuddle. Well it’s like getting in
back into bed with somebody that you know after
you’ve been away from you. I didn’t know who he
was, I was too scared, I was too scared to touch
him or ask for a cuddle. And he’s afraid. He’s afraid of his body, you know. He must will be thinks of himself oh my god this is what
she’s ended up with. – What Lucy must see, from how I was to how I am now. You know, I just can’t
imagine what she’s thinks when she looks at me. (slow paced music) I know she struggles a lot. It’s very hard to see with that. You know, she worked so hard all the time. She’s always stressed out,
you know it’s hard work. I just think, without all this, it would be a lot easier for her. (solemn music) – You know, everyone, I’m
sure people do still think it. You know, why am I still with him? You know why? I absolutely love and it’s the first time
that I’ve ever loved anybody as much as I’ve loved anybody. You know what, when I got with Alex, I didn’t care who it was as long as A he made me smile and made me a cup of tea in the morning. Now the cup of tea in
the morning has gone. But he still makes me
smile, argues, questions me, and he’s the only person that does that. So yeah love, not
because he had nice legs. Shocking legs. Shocking legs. So I don’t really care about the legs. But yeah, love. (slow paced music) (slow paced music) – [Narrator] Alex has been home with his family for six weeks. But is now returning to hospital for an extended period of rehabilitation. – Are you gonna be okay? – [Alex] Yeah. – Sure? Okay. Okay? – Yeah, okay. – Okay, I love you so much. Okay? – Uh huh. – [Narrator] In an effort
to improve his motor skills and become more independent, he’ll stay in a rehabilitation
centre for 10 weeks. – You scared? – Yeah. – Oh yeah. Okay don’t be scared, okay? – Okay. – Okay. This is a step for me to get, you know, a bit of my Alex back and this will give him his independence back. Call me tonight. Yeah? And work hard. Taste it for the first time in your life. – No. I’m my very anxious at the moment. Full of anticipation I think. (indistinct chatter) – [Narrator] Now are you in a
hurry ’cause you’re in hurry or are you in a hurry because– – No, no, no, no. – [Narrator] Because
this is your usual speed? – That is the usual speed. – [Narrator] Okay. – So sometimes I can– – [Narrator] That’s really good. – I can hit you around. – [Lucy] The most difficult thing for him is to lose his arms. – [Narrator] Yeah, well
done using the bed. – His loves in life are golf, cooking, reading, writing, drawing, and they all take all hands you know. And he was a big hugger. Alex loved giving cuddles. Especially with Sam. – Do you wanna try it first and see? – Had I made him go to
the doctor’s earlier or had I made him do
all these things sooner, you know I’d saw he was ill. But not now being able to hug his son and have that feeling of a proper cuddle, I think yeah, awful. – [Narrator] Have you
done much cutting up food? – [Alex] No, none at all. – Okay, that’s good. I need to find you a bigger piece. – [Narrator] Having been
given prosthetic arms for the first time, Alex
will attempt to learn basic tasks again. – [Nurse] Try it like that. And then see if you can get. Except that’s the wrong angle. I’m just gonna get that. I would pick that bit up first. Pick that bit up first and then. No, see, wrong way up. That way up. And then do it that. Oopsy, hold that and push in. It’s gonna take a little
bit of working that one out. And just try picking
back up with your hook. Yes, that’s good. Well done well done. Is it a slightly too long
up or too high a cup? Let me get a lower one. Which would actually also
make it a better angle. Have you actually the
non-slip mat that I sent Matt? – No. No. It’s, it’s very hard. Very hard for me. At the moment you’re thinking weeks and weeks of it. You know, you fight alone men, but you know it’s super hard. But it’s the only option we’ve got. – [Narrator] If you could
just take your weight to the left. – [Narrator] To the right right? – [Narrator] Right, I’m sorry, my left. – [Narrator] The rehabilitation
centre is more than two hours drive from Alex’s home. With a busy pub and guest house to run Lucy can only visit with Sam once a week. – Hello, hello, hello. – I saw that in mommy’s phone. – [Alex] Yeah. – Was that the photo that you texted in my mommy’s phone? – [Alex] Yes. – Oh I didn’t know. Ooh, is that bowl. That is the wrong way around. – [Alex] Huh? – That is a funny way around. – [Alex] No you got your
feet the wrong way now. (loud ringing) – Sam is really important for, Alex had something to
you know to strive for. To wake up every morning for, to make sure that he’s got
someone then to be proud of. (loud growling) – Coming at! (perky music) – You know, he’s still Sam’s dad, no matter what he’s Sam’s father. No arms, no legs, no way, he has to be a father. He has to be a role model for Sam. And if Alex shows that he’s so powerful, and so committed, and so driven, it will only go through to Sam eventually. You alright? It’s all good, it’s all good. – [Alex] Oh, come on Sam. – [Lucy] Back to work. – [Alex] I don’t want him to feel that, that perhaps I can’t do anything. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want him to feel that know because I’ve lost legs and arms I can’t, you know, I’m helpless. – [Sam] Daddy, push this. – Hold on. – [Sam] One arm, two arms. – I can’t find the hook. I’ll see what I can do. – [Narrator] Alex is on a
weekend break from rehab. It’s a rare visit home to
spend time with his family. – Ready? Didn’t work. – [Lucy] People do stare. – [Narrator] But they’re
going to aren’t they? It’s quite shocking. – [Lucy] I know, I don’t– – Do you think they’re as much
if it wasn’t for his lips? I mean he has got Bart Simpson lips. – Do you know what? He hasn’t changed personality-wise at all. He’s still the same mouth, but he has got more
drive than he’s ever had. I’m glad he hasn’t
become a recluse has he? Which he could have quite
easy become a recluse. – [Jo] I think the only
thing that’s changed is the fact the he does have a drive. He’s not, can you say lazy? – Maybe this was meant for him. – If that come my way, I would have rolled over and just switched off the machine myself. If I could. – Every nurse seemed to tell me, “That man’s fine.” Every single nurse had to
tell me on every shift, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” Like, I was more worried about the liver tests coming through. See, Alex liked to drink. and it came back and it was normal. They’re like. (slow paced music) – You know, I was drinking masses and masses of alcohol back then. Unit-wise I was easily an alcoholic. And I think I was starting to become a little bit lost in that because I wasn’t very happy. – [Narrator] Before Alex fell ill, the pub that the family was
living in was struggling. Lucy then opened a second
pub to rescue the business. – At that time there
was not enough support with what I was trying to do, You know I had to go
out to work every day, and it did put pressure on us. – It was a really stressful time. We’d literally see each
other for a few hours a week. In fact, we were pretty much separate. – You know, Alex loved drinking. He was in one of our pubs all day and he would drink too much. Where I’d come in from work every day and been working and Alex would have been having a drink at the bar. That didn’t help. I just felt like he was
just taking the piss really. – [Sam] Are you finished? – [Lucy] Now it’d be very easy for him A, to become a recluse,
too into alcohol again, And I’m not gonna bring Sam up into that. – [Alex] I feel good. – [Lucy] Do you? – [Narrator] Alex is back in hospital for an operation to widen his mouth. – She is making it so you
can smile for the police. Open your mouth there. Yeah. It is small though, very small. – Give a kiss to Sam. – Yeah, I will. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye bye, take care, bye bye. – So finally the surgery has arrived. Sam, he’s seen me go from a six foot bloke to three foot 10. No legs, no arms. Facial surgery on the go for the foreseeable future. And that clearly must affect our relationship. I’m making as big an effort as I can to look and be like the old me. And try to rebuild that
closeness between us. For me, going through
it with my little boy. I can’t imagine where I’d be now. Yeah, he’s been a big factor that one. I think it’s nice that in the future he’ll realise just how important he was. (slow paced music) – He’s been the glue really. He’s kept us all together in his own way. He’s been far more important than I think he’ll ever understand. – [Narrator] The surgery
lasts the whole night. The following morning Lucy and
Sam are the first visitors. – Daddy I see your teeth! I see your teeth! That thing now, I see your
teeth and your tongue! – Oh actually your teeth are nice. They were black. Open your mouth up,
let me look at the gum. – Ooh! – We were just thinking
a lolly could go in it. – Yeah. – Let’s see, you do it. Oh my god. – Oh daddy! Your arm got smaller. You sucked it! – Yeah ’cause he’s got
a bigger mouth than you. – Yeah, ’cause I chomped a bit of it and then everyone panics. As if I was gonna die eating it. (loud laughing) (blows raspberry) – Don’t you do that. ‘Cause you’ll ruin your teeth, no. – He’s alright though. He’s gotta eat it, it’s a sweet. Chew a bit of it. – Right, right, right. So when he has problems with his teeth and he goes to the dentist, you can get in the car
and take him every time. – You know Lucy when you go to a dentist and you’ve been a good
boy you get a lolly. So how’s that work? – Samuel, don’t listen to father! – [Sam] I will! (loud laughing) (slow paced music) – [Lucy] I gotta wake them up. Ready for first day of school. Hello, morning. – [Alex] It’s the first day of school. This is the first day of
the rest of your life. Today. – [Lucy] Sam. – [Sam] Yes. – [Lucy] Come on. – [Sam] I’m just waking up! – [Alex] Just waking up. Geeze. – Sam’s been the key to this whole thing. To getting Alex’s attitude. So one day he’ll go back and walk in the dark with Sam. And Sam will say a lot. When you’ve got big legs we’re
gonna be playing football. – Yeah it’s quite sad he’s
gotta go to school now. It’s like an end to the
innocence in a sense. Like he’s all grown up. – [Lucy] Drink your drink. – I don’t drink in my mouth,
I drink it up my nose. – [Alex] No you don’t,
drink it through your mouth. – [Sam] Here we go. – Eat your coco puffs now
or otherwise I’ll beat you. Come here. Right. Oh my goodness. This buttons gone again. – Got me. – [Lucy] You and your minis. You love your minis don’t you? Be brave, be brave, be brave okay? – You’re gonna love it Sam. – [Lucy] You’re gonna love school. Don’t cry, stop crying. – You’ll have so much fun, honestly. – [Lucy] What did I say? I said if you cry I cry. Mommy doesn’t cry. Come on then now kiss your daddy. – Hey, you alright? – Kiss? – Big boy? Big boy? Yeah, love you. – I love you. – [Lucy] Give daddy a kiss and take that hat off. – You won’t be there long and
I’ll see you this afternoon. – [Lucy] You’re gonna be
there only a little bit. – Okay? – [Lucy] Give daddy a kiss. – Where’s Jack Jack and Claire? – [Lucy] Where’s Jack Jack and Claire? – Jack Jack says I’m early. – [Lucy] Christian’s here. – Christian’s there. – [Lucy] Christian’s here! – Okay. – [Lucy] Okay, give daddy a kiss. It’s okay. – You’ll be alright. – [Lucy] I’m not going anywhere,
I’m not going anywhere. (slow paced music) – It’s very difficult for Alex when they go to school and
see all the other dads. All the other dads can run and play. Alexander can’t. – [Alex] Good day Sam! Have fun! – Alex feels it, of course he does. He’s his dad and he wanted
to do those things with him. It hasn’t happened. But it will happen because Alexander with legs will be able to do the things that other dads do. But I do think through this period he’s missed an awful lot. – Now we’re gonna go to the shoulders. Lift them right up to your ears and then all the way around. Lovely.
(slow paced music) – [Narrator] It’s been
one and a half years since Alex fell ill. He’s leaving home again
and returning to hospital to increase his mobility
by learning to walk on advanced prosthetic legs. – [Narrator] Yeah. They are the legs. Yeah they should be good. – [Narrator] Now kick with the right. No, that’s got no interest in staying on. – Yeah, it’s not been stilled out so it’s coming loose while I’m walking. Bringing air in. – [Narrator] That’s it. – [Alex] That’s it and that’s it. – [Narrator] Okay, up we come. – [Narrator] With Alex away, Lucy continues to manage their
business and run the home. – It’s virtually all a mess. How lovely. There’s a load of shoes up here. He’s got 100s. All his shoes. It’s all bags of shoes. Like none of them have been worn. At some point he’ll have
prosthetics that will have his feet on them, so he can
go back to wearing shoes. He’s going back to size 11 feet. He’s already chosen as Gucci loafers that he wants me to get him for when he starts walking again. I think it will do– – [Narrator] Why would they be special? – Why would it be special? Because that was who Alex was. His identity was he loved
putting a jacket on, he loved putting a shirt on, and he loved dressing up so, I think for him his identity will be back and he’ll be back and
make him feel sexy again. – [Narrator] Slowing ya down. – I just don’t tell her too much really. You know, I’ll tell you a little bit. How was your day? Yeah it was fine. You know, I’m not gonna tell her, “Well actually, I got the legs at nine, “it was back in the workshop by 10. “Didn’t get it back til one
o’clock in the afternoon “and whatever.” You know, all that gets left out. You know, she’s got
enough to get stressed out about at home with the business and Sam. She gets enough out of me about, not everything. No, definitely not everything. – So try not to rush it. From each heel roll over onto. – [Narrator] Alex has been
given the best prosthetic legs the NHS has to offer. If they work, he’s hoping to become less reliant on his family. (loud grunting) – [Female] Sorry if I kneed you. – No that’s alright. You know, it isn’t the right leg. You know it’s one thing having
people put the liners on, but it’s another thing
being unable to lock the leg to let it get out. It isn’t what’s best, but it’s the only thing that’s
half decent and available. It’s not good. Not good. Yeah. No I think it was the
prosthetic coming back that caught the– – [Narrator] Oh this. – I think so. I think it caught that. Yeah. – Hello. – [Alex] Hi darling. – You alright? – Good. – [Lucy] How are you? – [Alex] I’m good. – [Lucy] I know you’re lying. – [Alex] Huh? – [Lucy] You’re lying. – No. – How’d you get on? – [Alex] I feel like
we’ve beaten up today. – Have you, why? – [Alex] I fell over a lot. – You fell over where? Where’s your hook gone? – It’s been amputated. This afternoon it was like, I’m over tipping on the right. So I stanked it about three times. – Did it hurt? – Yeah. So they’ve taken it away again. – And how’d you feel? – Mmm, frustrated at the moment. You know I did say my
left leg falling off, it’s falling off, it’s falling off. – ‘Cause I think– – And they said no it’s not no it’s not. – The only person that knows
what’s going on is you. And I think you’re intelligent enough, and you’ve read so much about this, and you know exactly what
exactly what you want. – You know, in a perfect
world I want to be, you know be able– – [Lucy] Stay private. – Be able to do it privately. – I don’t know we can afford it. – No, no, but who can? Knowing how bad the system is now with the prosthetics and the Opticare. And being in the system knowing that I’m gonna stay in this system probably for the rest of
my life realistically. Knowing that doesn’t really give you much confidence
does it in the future? And I can’t see it getting any better. – This is something that
you gotta fight for now. All of it. And if you can make a future,
you’re gonna have do to. That’s it. I’d always be by your side
if you needed me to be. – Yeah yeah yeah. – I would always be there. If you asked me to be by
your side I would be there. I got asked yesterday,
but somebody said to me there must of been a point where you said you know you wanted to walk away. And I said never. There’s never been a
point where I’ve wanted to walk away from it. Ever. Never, it’s never ever even questioned. It’s never even come into my mind. (slow paced music) So you’re very lucky. – Walk away from this, you must be mad. – [Lucy] Why would I wanna– – Exactly, exactly. – [Lucy] Oh god it’d be so much easier. – Yeah. – [Lucy] It’d be so much easier. But I like a challenge. – Well you got one. (slow paced music) – I just had a call from Alex to say that he was coming home on Thursday night. That he checked himself out and there was no point in being there because taxpayers monies
being spent on some equipment that he’s never going to be able to use. – I decided to leave Roehampton. It was a difficult
decision to make because they’ve been fantastic
all the way through, but it’s simply not within their budget to spend any more money on the knee joint which is the right knee joint that I need. – Yeah he’s disappointed in it. Oh god yeah, really disappointed in that he’s not gonna get ’em. All he wants is power legs. There’s nothing else. But he just can’t get them. We need to figure out a way
how we can do it ourselves. – I don’t think I’ll be
tied shoelaces anytime soon. I’ve come upstairs to sort through all the clothes that I’ve had stored away. Everything pretty much is obsolete. All the shoes, the shoes that I love. Yeah, just here to have
a look at it all again one last time I guess and
then getting rid of it. I feel like I’m a different person. You know, to how I was like
prior to when I fell ill. It’s much much different. So yeah, part of me is kind of ushering out the old and
and welcoming the new. It’s quite a cathartic I think. You know, it’s quite, it feels quite clean too
to get rid of them really. A lot of those clothes
has seen an awful lot of drinking go on. And the years gone by. You know and I don’t miss being like that. I don’t miss those days. – You done? – [Alex] What did what did
daddy used to drink at the pub? – Guinness. – [Alex] What else? – You stopped drinking didn’t you? – [Alex] I have stopped
drinking Guinness yeah. – [Sam] You drink juice now. – [Alex] Yeah drink more juice
than anything else don’t I? – That why you getting your legs again. Got bigger and bigger. – [Alex] ‘Cause I drink juice? – Yes. (slow paced music) – You know, looking
back to how I was then, you know I wasn’t on the right path. So falling ill for me he
was a saving grace really. And it’s got my head
straight and clear and you know make you make your
choices as to what’s important. And I couldn’t go back to that now. Not knowing how I was. I’m very lucky that I’ve
been given a second chance. You know, plenty of people don’t get that. – [Lucy] Paulie. Come here sit down. Paul. I know a good girl – [Narrator] It’s been 21
months since Alex fell ill. Today, the family woke
up to some big news. – We’re all in bed as normal. Sam included. And Alex just said something like, “Well you’ve been asking me for so long, “we might as well just get married.” In a very unromantic way, by the way. And I just sort of
repeated what he said to me and I said “Are you
asking me to marry you?” And he said “Yes.” And that was it. – I changed my mind about
the whole marriage thing because of everything that I kind of inadvertently put her through really. And how she copes with
it, and didn’t waver, and stuck by me. It’s quite clear that it’s got to be her. – You know I’ve always expected it because I knew he’d give in at some point. I know I drained him down, I’d
get him down at some point. I’d nag him down to it. So I knew it’s always gonna happen. He just didn’t know it’s gonna happen. (slow paced music) – [Narrator] Since
falling ill, Alex has been determined to increase his independence. But so far none of the prosthetic legs have enabled him to walk. – It’s become quite clear that the National Health
Service have got no way of funding the knee joints that I require. Which means we’re gonna have to raise the money or the profile of the problem on our own. – [Narrator] Alex has been introduced to a private trust organiser in the hope of beginning his own formal
fundraising organisation. – Your year it’s going to be full of exciting moves forward. Some things you haven’t even done before. – Yeah I know. I can’t wait. – [Narrator] The search is on for the costly equipment
that could transform Alex and his family’s life. – Look. – What’s that? – A hand cycle. – Just put some more
rocket boosters there. – Rocket boosters? – Yeah. – The cost of it, all
told with prosthetics is about 24,500 pounds. That money is worth every penny for it. You know it’d mean that
Lucy and I can go out with Sam on his bike. You know, we can do stuff to family. You can’t really put a price on a little bit of independence. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Over the next few months Alex’s trust begins
raising its first money. – Good evening everyone. Thank you for attending the event tonight. – [Narrator] A team of volunteers joined with a goal to raise
the three million pounds Alex is estimated to need over
the course of his lifetime. – Phoned me up today
at work and he told me that he was in the shower thinking about you this morning. (loud laughing) How does that feel? – In the shower thinking about me. – [Lucy] She said she was in the shower, her and her husband. You touch people. You make them wanna buy you toilets. – That is pretty much
what the support is here. She comes and she takes the piss. – [Narrator] Now, 22
months after falling ill, Alex is striving ahead and
the trust is delivering. – Sam. – Wow! Can I have a try? – [Alex] No. – Why? – [Alex] Not yet ’cause I’ve got ’em on. – Cool! Isn’t it like a ginormous gun. (imitates gun) – Now as the time’s going by I see something new happen every week. I see him now open up a fridge. I see him now pour
himself a drink of squash. He’s very very independent now. And he wants to do all himself. All of this is attitude of mind and life. If you want your life you
will go out and get it. (inspirational music) – [Narrator] Cheers Alex. – Happy New Year everybody. Cheers. – The funniest thing
happened here the other day where Alex opened a cracker. And in it was a shoe horn. – [Narrator] A what? – Shoe horn. (loud laughing) – [Narrator] Alex and
Lucy have gathered their closest friends together to
celebrate their engagement. – Two years Alex got ill. Now, been two years. – Can I propose a toast please? To all of you around the table tonight. It’s the first time since I fell ill that I’ve got you all here
together at the same time. And throughout everything that’s gone on, your friendship has been
invaluable to all of us. Even you Joe. And the one person that’s made it even better outside of all you lot, has been Lucy who– – Don’t make me upset. – So you’ve been incredible to me and I could not be sat here now so happy without you. So can we propose a toast? (indistinct chatter) – I think that what’s kept us together and kept is quite strong and yeah it’s honesty, I’m quite blunt. We’re very opposite people. But I think if I hadn’t
been honest with you you weren’t gonna get better. – Yeah. I would’ve got better. – No you would not. – Yeah honestly I would’ve. – No you would not. – No, honestly would have. – You would not. Let’s be honest. – I would have been fine. – No you wouldn’t have. What I have realised is that I always thought I was the strong person in this relationship. So where I’d gone on for years about him being laid back and oh
god he’s got no drive, I was totally wrong. He was he is the strong one,
he is the driven one, not me. – I got a beard. – [Alex] So then that goes
about like that I think. Yeah.
– Yes. – [Alex] That’s it.
(Sam growling) That’s it, that’s it, that’s
it, that’s it, that’s it. – I need to get it. – Nearly done it. Yeah, kiss kiss. Cuddle. – [Sam] Hey. – Don’t run away not with me cuddle. – Why? – Why? Because I love you. Because I love you. I wanna kiss. – Not why was the secret now? – The secret? – Yeah. – Oh yeah we got a hand slide thing. – [Sam] Cool! – Pedal with your legs. Use your legs. (inspirational music) I would say the last two years have been the most tragic, but brilliant two years of my life. From being minutes away from death and then coming all the way through to now being blissfully happy. (upbeat music) Out of everything that we’ve learned in the last two years I guess, foremost is that, I think
it’s just keep going. We never look back. No matter what you come up against, you just keep going. (slow paced music)

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