A Burnley man received a massive shock last Tuesday when he learnt his back was broken – 30 years after a car crash.
Alan Brown (67), of Hollingreave Road, was given the unexpected diagnosis when he went to the Royal Blackburn Hospital with a liver complaint.
I moved house seven years ago. We decorated and I lifted and carried heavy furniture and my back was fineAlan Brown
And he claims that, despite the “odd twinge every now and then”, he had no reason to suspect something might be so seriously wrong.
“They put me through the MRI and said ‘we have some disturbing news for you: you have a broken back’,” he explained.
“But I hadn’t bashed myself, I thought.
“The only bash I ever had was in 1985, I was waiting for the traffic lights on the way home from work, and someone drove into the back of me.”
But Mr Brown is not overly concerned about his new diagnosis. Instead, he feels he has more troubling and immediate health complaints.
An MRI scan in 2012 led to him being diagnosed with emphysema.
That same scan also revealed a “little cyst” on his liver, and the constant pain this causes is more worrying for him.
“My back is not the problem. I have been alright for 30 years,” he said.
“I moved house seven years ago. We decorated and I lifted and carried heavy furniture and my back was fine.
“That is not the problem - I just want them to sort my liver out!”
Despite taking a long and ever-growing list of painkillers and steroids, Alan still worries about his liver and fears his health is deteriorating.
“I was the youngest of six brothers and sisters. But I have lost two brothers and two sisters, and I think I am next,” he said
“It could be maybe five-ten years left - you just don’t know.
“I take it every day that comes. That is all you can really do.”
But Alan believes his health issues are made manageable by the love and care of Evie, his wife of 11 years. “If I did not have my wife, God knows what I would do!” he said.