A DAD-of-two from Sheffield is getting his life back on track a decade after he plummeted 45 feet through a roof.
Doctors told Timothy Kirk’s family he might not survive after he crashed through a fragile skylight at a factory in Barnsley.
The industrial roofer was in a coma for 11 days and underwent several operations in the weeks after the accident in October 2011. He was so badly injured his own son did not recognise him.
But now Mr Kirk, aged 42, is trying to put the incident behind him and spends time volunteering to help people who have gone through similar experiences.
“I have good days and bad days but it’s about as good as it could be,” said Mr Kirk, who lives with wife Michelle, 41, son Timmy Joe, 17 and daughter Ruby, six, on Reaper Crescent, High Green.
“When you have an accident like that it leaves you without a job, without a life. Getting through it has been a real family effort.”
His employer R & K Ward Roofing Contractors paid £340,000 compensation to cover his ongoing physiotherapy and mental health treatment for post-traumatic stress.
They should have made sure the roof was safe before sending him to carry out repairs.
Mr Kirk said: “The skylight was a very similar colour to the roof and was very difficult to see.”
The dad, who is now campaigning to raise awareness of safety at work, paid tribute to his solicitor David Urpeth for helping secure the “essential” compensation.
“Without my solicitors I wouldn’t have known which way to turn,” he added.
Mr Urpeth, head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This has been an extremely distressing experience for Mr Kirk and his family. It needs to be remembered the damages settlement was not a lottery win. These funds are to help Timothy Kirk maintain his quality of life.”
According to the Health and Safety Executive four people were killed in accidents at work in South Yorkshire in 2009/10. There were a further 624 non-fatal major injuries and 2,257 injuries with effects lasting more three days.
Mr Urpeth added: “Workers should be entitled to go to work each morning and then come back home safely each evening. Far too many people are injured in South Yorkshire each year carrying out their normal duties at work.”