A DAD who went into a coma and was later told he would never walk again has taken his first miraculous steps.
Steve Hope had been gearing up to coach his local football team when the main artery in his heart suddenly burst during a near-fatal aneurysm.
The 53-year-old father-of-five slipped into a coma that he did not wake up from for four harrowing weeks.
When he finally came round, doctors told the Hendon dad that he had been left paralysed with a catalogue of other ailments.
Steve, who is married to Christine, 51, spent six months in hospital as he regained his health and fought off MRSA and pneumonia.
He said: “It was like a pop in my chest and then I started going dizzy. The next thing I knew, I woke up four weeks later in hospital.
“The next six months was me really fighting for survival. There was talk of having to take my leg off, having to remove a kidney, I believe I died a couple of times and had to be revived.
“I’ve been told I really shouldn’t have survived.
“It was weird because I can remember that before it happened I felt champion.”
When Steve, 53, finally left hospital to return to his Gray Road home, medics told him he would never walk again.
But, determined to prove them wrong, he has fought back and is now beginning to walk short distances with the help of crutches, although he knows he will never be able to walk unaided again.
Steve still has to take 41 tablets a day, has extensive nerve damage down the left side of his body and has to use a catheter.
He said: “They said I’d be in a wheelchair for at least 10 years and, I hate to use this word, but I’d be crippled.
“I was determined to walk again. It was hard and it took a long time to accept the fact.
“One minute I was a football coach seven days a week and was cycling to and from work every day.
“Suddenly, all of this was taken away from me and that was tough to handle.
“I’m accepting what has happened and trying to get on with my life, but it is hard.”
Steven has also got back into football coaching and is helping out with Cheers over-40s team.