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Lightning man to become a father

18 December 07 12:38 GMT

A Merseyside man who was told he was unlikely to ever have children after being hit by lightning is about to become a father.

Campbell Gillespie, originally from outside Glasgow, suffered massive internal injuries and was in a coma after the strike four years ago.

Doctors said the extent of his injuries would make him unable to have children.

But Mr Gillespie, 43, and his partner Hazel Topping, 39, are now expecting the birth of their first child.

The sales executive was training for a half-marathon with some friends near his home in Waterloo when the lightning struck.

He was knocked 15ft into the air and landed face first on concrete.

"I smashed every bone in my face. I had four blood clots in the brain and one in the leg.

"All my organs had moved forward in my body due to trauma and are twisted up inside and I was in a coma - they expected me to die.

"When I came out of the coma I couldn't understand what had happened. I thought I'd just finished work.

"I couldn't see - I had treble vision and I couldn't speak as I'd had a tracheotomy.

"A voice said: 'You've had an accident son, we are going to rebuild you we're proud you're alive' - it was my mother but it took me hours to realise it.

"And that was the start of the fight of my life to get back where I am today."

Since then Mr Gillespie, who is originally from Lenzie in Kirkintilloch, has had hours of reconstructive surgery at Fazakerley Hospital but he was told the extent of his injuries meant it was highly unlikely he would ever father a child.

"But I've proved the doctors wrong," he said.

"I wake up every morning and I thank God I'm alive, I thank him for my wife to be, for my unborn child."

He added that life was better than ever.

"Before I was struck by lightning I was going to go back to Scotland but afterwards I was determined to stay down here and make a life for myself.

"I'm still deaf in my left ear, I've got no sense of taste or smell - but Hazel always tells me what things taste like - we've made a great team.

"If me being struck by lightning means I've met Hazel, then it's a price I'm willing to pay!

"Life is just fantastic. You don't realise how wonderful life is until you lose it."

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