HALLOWEEN turned into a horror show for a Stratford decorator who broke his back falling from scaffolding – but Charlie Budd has turned tragedy into triumph.
The 46-year-old was working on a house in Salford Priors when he fell and hit his back on the corner of his toolbox.
In a great deal of pain and with no one around to shout for help, he crawled inside the house and phoned his wife who rushed to the scene.
He was screaming in agony by the time wife Jules – owner of Sew Me Something in the Minories Courtyard – arrived, and she phoned an ambulance.
Charlie was rushed to hospital where it was revealed one of his vertebrae had exploded and left a piece of bone ‘bouncing’ on his spinal cord.
During a five-hour operation surgeons pieced his spine back together, and two weeks later he walked out of hospital.
Charlie said: “Four of my vertebrae have been fused together permanently. The consultant can’t guarantee I’ll be back to how I was – I may not be totally pain free.
“Judging on how I am now I expect 90 per cent recovery at least.”
Facing a lengthy recovery and loss of earnings, Charlie turned to his great passion in life, photography, to see him through.
He had taken pictures locally – many natural shots in Oversley Woods and lots of abstract images.
With Christmas fast approaching he decided to turn his pictures into two calendars – one full of abstract images and one with nature shots. He created a website in which to sell copies.
And the calendar has so far been a huge success, with more than 150 calendars sold in just three days.
It has even inspired him to pursue his ‘dream’ of being behind the lens full time.
Charlie – who said his favourite snap is of blue hydrangeas, as they are his wife’s favourite flower – told the Observer: “I was absolutely stunned at the response.
“They say every cloud has a silver lining and although I would rather not have broken my back I’m thrilled that the accident has opened the door to me pursuing a business involving my passion in life.”
Each calendar costs £12. Visit charles-budd-photo-and-video.myshopify.com or the Sew Me Something shop to buy a copy.