When Martyn White walks his fiancée Sophia Lefevre down the aisle next month, it will be an extra special occasion for more reasons than one.
Not only will he be having a double wedding with his brother Scott and his other half Janice Cleave, but it will also mark a momentous milestone in Martyn’s recovery.
Less than a year ago, in July, 2014, Martyn was involved in a near-fatal crash on the A259 Marsh Road when a car and his motorbike collided. He was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London where the shocking extent of his injuries was realised.
He said: “I broke pretty much every part of me there was to break. In my left leg, I broke the tibula and fibula and had to have pins inserted and plastic surgery on my shin and knee. I broke the femur in my right leg and had to have pins in there as well.
“I broke my pelvis, six ribs and chipped two different sets of vertebrae in my spine, and that’s on top of all the whiplash and pain in my shoulders. I had a tracheostomy to help me breath and in the helicopter, they had to drain all the blood from my lungs.
“I picked up an infection from the road which resulted in an increase in my body temperature, so they had to regulate it to avoid brain damage.
“They put me in an induced coma as it was easier to operate when I wasn’t writhing in pain. I died four times and they had to resuscitate me. I pretty much came back from the brink of death.”
Martyn was in a coma for three weeks and spent a further three months or so in hospital after that. Due to the extent of surgery required to fix the damage in his legs, he found himself unable to walk.
However, through sheer determination, the 45-year-old has since taught himself to walk again so now he can take his bride down the aisle.
Martyn added: “While I was in hospital, I decided to propose to Sophia. We’ve been together 24 years and we were quite happy as we were, but experiences like this bring it all home. I have two children, aged 21 and 10, so I wanted to safeguard their future too. It gave me something to look forward to, something to work towards. I’m quite a determined man and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like dying stop me in my tracks!”
Martyn and Sophia, who were both professional dancers when they met at an audition for an amateur dramatics play, run a creative arts academy called New Things Productions, teaching various disciplines of dance, singing and musical theatre.
On Friday, June 12, they will tie the knot at Eastbourne Registry Office alongside Janice and Scott, who is co-owner of the Property Café in Bexhill and Little Common.
Martyn added: “My brother was there with me through everything while I was in hospital. When I told him Sophia and I were getting married, he decided to do the same, so we’re having a joint ceremony, which is quite unusual.
“The wedding itself is quite simple but there will be a reception with around 200-300 people the day after.
“I can walk as well as can be expected, but I still get stiffness in my back and neck. I’m just thankful to be here.”