A biker dad was so devastated by the death of his favourite dog, that he had the pooch’s face superimposed on his prosthetic leg.Retired bus driver, Michael Jackson , 72, from Langtoft, Lincolnshire, lost beloved Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross Charlie, just a month before his leg was torn off in a horror motorbike smash in September 2017. Dad-of-two Michael was so close with Charlie, he even bought a special carrier so that they could ride his motorbike together and was left heartbroken when Charlie died of a heart attack in his arms.
However, after making a special request to doctors when he was fitted with a £12,000 prosthetic left leg, experts were able to superimpose the pup’s face onto a computerised image on the limb – meaning Michael can still forever have Charlie walking by his side.
Michael said: ‘It felt like someone had taken away a part of me when Charlie died, and then a month later I actually did have a part of me taken away.
‘It was a horrible feeling. I’ve always had dogs, but Charlie was definitely my favourite, he used to follow me everywhere.
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‘He was so affectionate and obedient, he used to sit in a little carrier with me when I went for a ride on my motorbike and he absolutely loved it, with the wind rushing through his fur.’Following Charlie’s death in August 2017, Michael said he was pleased not to have his beloved pet on the bike with him when he was hit by a car while crossing a junction the following month.
The impact severed his leg – leaving it ‘hanging by a thread’ – and the dad was rushed to hospital, where he spent the next five months recovering.
He had to undergo ten hours of operations to save the rest of his limb.
Michael said: ‘I’d been doing a charity bike ride and I’d come to a crossroads when I could hear a car to my side.
‘The next thing, it had smashed into me and corkscrewed me off, taking my left leg off with it.
‘I remember looking down and the limb was hanging on by a thread.’
He added: ‘Losing your best friend is hard and losing your leg is even harder, but you just have to carry on with life.
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‘But having Charlie on my leg is a funny little thing that I did for myself – I feel like I’ve still got him with me.’B&B owner turns chicken shed into tiny one-roomed chapel
As well as losing his best friend, his love for motorbiking and his leg, Michael also faced losing his home as it was no longer suitable while he was temporarily wheelchair-bound.But after seeking help from solicitors firm Fletchers Solicitors, he was awarded a five figure payout – enough to buy a new bungalow with all the modifications he needed and even get private health care to cover the cost of his new leg.
An unexpected bonus of his private treatment was that he could choose the design of his prosthetic, and was able to have Charlie’s picture printed on the front of the limb wearing a funny Irish hat.
Michael, who is now speaking out for the first time since the ordeal, said: ‘I loved my old house, but it was quite narrow before and there just wasn’t space for a wheelchair to get through.‘I’ve got two more dogs now, a Jack Russell called Rosie, a Chihuahua called Alice, and a new motorbike waiting for me in the garage when I feel confident enough to get back on two wheels.’
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