A father-of-two, who feared he could be paralysed because of a rare spinal condition, has told of his joy at being able to hug his children again following revolutionary surgery.
Karl Evans, aged 42, sought medical advice after suffering a strange tingling sensation in his fingertips.
But doctors told him and his wife Tracy, of Falstaff Road, Shirley, he would be paralysed from the neck down within weeks because of a spinal condition which had probably been caused while he was playing football and rugby.
Now, Mr Evans has made a miraculous recovery thanks to surgery carried out by a Birmingham surgeon who saved former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin's football career after he broke his neck. "The doctor told me the third disc down on my spine had worn away and there was a 90 per cent chance of becoming paralysed from the neck down," said Mr Evans, who works for Transco in Solihull.
Mr Evans, who has daughters Sydney, aged nine, and Bronte, aged five, with his 42-year-old wife, added: "I was a hands-on father who always ran and played with my two daughters, but I wouldn't be able to do that, not even hug them tight."
Surgeon Andre Jackowski at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Northfield operated on Mr Evans in a procedure to fit a new synthetic disc and four screws in his neck.
Since the operation last September, Mr Evans has made such an amazing recovery that he now plans to run the Great North Run halfmarathon later this year to raise £5,000 for the Orthopaedic Hospital's charitable funds.