Brave brother bounces back from his death bed to walk his sister down the aisle at her wedding

SPECIAL DAY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle, left, and her husband Jeff Clark.
SPECIAL DAY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle, left, and her husband Jeff Clark.
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A BROTHER has defied the odds to walk his beloved sister down the aisle - less than a month after he was in a hospital bed fighting for his life.

Kyle Burrell was admitted to the Integrated Critical Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital after developing a serious case of pneumonia last month.

HAPPY FAMILY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle.

HAPPY FAMILY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle.

His condition worsened and doctors told his family his chances of survival were slim.

Sister Callie, 28, decided to call off her wedding to fiancé Jeff Clark, booked for May 15, after Kyle, 27, had promised to give her away following the death of their dad Kevin in 1998.

But despite being put into an induced coma for a fortnight under the gravest of circumstances, Kyle has now battled back and made an almost full recovery.

Yesterday, after giving his sibling away as she said her vows, he told the Echo: “I’ve been given a second chance at life and I don’t want to waste it.”

Kyle Burrell

Kyle, a former Houghton Kepier School pupil was doing gardening work when he began to feel ill on April 20.

After shrugging it off as just a funny turn, his mum Kim Tracey decided to take him to the Royal for treatment.

He was then rushed into the critical care unit, with X-rays showing he had severe pneumonia.

After being put into an induced coma, he also developed sepsis, an infection in the blood.

FIGHTING FOR LIFE: Kyle Burrell in the intensive care unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital after contracting pneumonia.

FIGHTING FOR LIFE: Kyle Burrell in the intensive care unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital after contracting pneumonia.

Kyle, of Houghton, was set to be moved to an specialist lung unit in Leicester, but because he was so unwell, doctors between there and Sunderland had to liaise with each other over the best course of treatment.

Callie and Jeff’s original plan was to have a picnic in Roker Park before a reception with guests at the Marriott Hotel on Sunderland seafront.

But the plans were scrapped just a number of weeks ago when Callie cancelled arrangements as Kyle lay stricken in his hospital bed.

“I asked about whether there was a chance Kyle would be OK for the wedding, and the consultant told me he would either be in intensive care or he would not be with us,” said Callie.

HAPPY FAMILY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle and husband Jeff Clark.

HAPPY FAMILY: Bride Callie Burrell with her brother Kyle and husband Jeff Clark.

“That’s when we decided it wouldn’t be right to go ahead.

“I used to be a beauty therapist who did weddings and I’d see other girls walking down the stairs with their dads who were going to give them away. I’d get too upset because I knew that was something I’d never be able to do.

“But Kyle and my other brother Callum had agreed to do and that’s when me and Jeff decided to get married.”

It was then that Kyle made his amazing recovery, confounding medics so that he could be moved off ICCU in a matter of days.

“We couldn’t believe it,” added Callie, who with Jeff has two sons, Conrad, five, and Zachary, two.

“A nurse said she had seen his chest X-ray a few days before and was amazed he was still alive.

“He was pulling all of the wires out of the machines because he didn’t know what was happening at first, but soon he was back to himself.”

Following Kyle’s recovery, Callie and Jeff decided to hold the wedding on the intended date.

With the help of businesses including Dairy Lane Cakes, in Houghton, and Hetton florist Wild at Heart, Callie and Jeff, 33 a fencer, yesterday said their vows before having photos done with their family and guests on Roker seafront.

The Roker Hotel have kindly given Callie and Jeff their bridal suite for two nights, while SB Barbers cut the hair of all the male guests.

Sunderland city centre bar Attico and Verve also stepped in and the wedding party enjoyed a barbecue and drinks reception at the Green Terrace venue following the ceremony.

The couple are also set to arrange another celebration later this month.

Callie said: “I’m over the moon that Kyle has been able to walk me down the aisle.

“I’m so proud of how he fought back and has recovered from what happened.”

Kyle said: “I don’t think I realise how close to death I’ve been.

“This has put a whole different complexion on life now I know what I want to do next.”

The family also said they wished to pass on their thanks to everyone at Sunderland Royal who helped with Kyle’s treatment.

“The nurses and doctors on ICCU are angels, that’s what I call them” said Callie, who works as a banker for TSB.

“We can’t thank them enough for saving Kyle.”