An inspirational boxer who fought back from the brink of death is up on his feet, talking, and planning his future – just four weeks after his family was told to ‘prepare for the worst’.
Jerome Wilson, aged 29, was knocked unconscious in the ring during a fight last month and suffered a serious bleed on the brain, with medics warning his family he could die.
But just one month on the brave professional boxer, from Arbourthorne, Sheffield, told The Star: “I’m not 100 per cent yet - but I will get there with a lot of hard work.”
Jerome was left in a coma on the night of his fight after being floored with a punch by Serge Ambomo. He underwent life-saving surgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. He faces three months of rehabilitation, and another operation to insert a metal plate into his head, before he will be allowed back home.
But the dad-of-one, whose partner is due to give birth to their second child in March, said: “I’m just grateful that I am still here.”
Jerome, who is also a personal trainer, said: “I have to practise what I preach - when I feel a bit down I have to keep going. I have an end goal to reach.”
He said it felt ‘surreal’ to know he was on the brink of death – but said although it was boxing which landed him in hospital it was the sport which also saved his life. Medics have put his speedy recovery down to his physical and mental fitness.
The boxer, who had a section of his skull replaced to ease the pressure from his swelling brain, has been told he will never fight again, but has vowed to continue working in the sport.
He said the accident had made him ‘cherish life a little bit more’.
Speaking exclusively to The Star from his hospital bed, he said: “I want to help people out, share my experiences and give my advice to people, and hopefully it will help them improve their lives.
“I was told I probably wouldn’t get a boxing licence again due to what happened and when I was told that it hurt a lot. I have always loved boxing, from when I first walked into the gym – I fell in love with it.
“I love boxing and the fitness side of it, the discipline you have to have – there are various things it teaches you.
“I won’t ever leave boxing, there’s a lot that can be learnt from it.” He said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of people who had donated to a fighting fund set up to support his family while he recovers.
“There’s one word – wow – I can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s great what people can do when they all come together to do something positive for someone else.”
He said he wants to say a personal thank you to those who helped him ringside, and the medics who helped to save his life.
“I want to meet people on a one-to-one basis and say it to their faces, because I am here and able to do it,” he said. “I can’t wait to do that.”