When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Man of steel won't let disability stop him in his tracks
MEET the real-life man of steel.
While audiences flocked to blockbuster superhero film Man of Steel, Hampshire amputee Ben Steele, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, has proved there are no limits to action-packed adventure.
Whether it is skiing down a mountain, indoor rock climbing or water skiing, he is determined to live life to the full.
His goal is to run a marathon and he may even start training for the Rio Paralympics.
Mr Steele, from Worthy Down, had his left leg amputated at the knee after he suffered devastating injuries in a motorbike accident at Cheesefoot Head, a notorious accident blackspot on the outskirts of Winchester.
But the surgical wound refused to heal until Dr Matthew Dryden, consultant microbiologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, suggested using a new honey treatment he is pioneering.
“It was frustrating being stuck in a wheelchair or on crutches. I am quite into fitness,” said the 32-year-old security guard who will be spending the first anniversary of the accident riding pillion on a motorbike along famous Route 66 in California.
“Using the honey was a step forward. It was good to see the wound healing really quickly. As soon as it was healed, I could get a prosthetic leg and start on my rehabilitation and learn to walk again.
“It was difficult at first. But I am not going to let my injuries stop me from doing anything that I did before.”
Mr Steele is one of the patients at Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital who were treated with the bioengineered product, called Surgihoney, as part of a clinical evaluation by Dr Dryden over the past year.
As reported by the Hampshire Chronicle in July, the sterile, medical honey has been successfully used to heal leg ulcers, pressure sores and surgical wound infections. It even killed the superbug MRSA.
Cases of women who suffered infections after giving birth by Caesarean section halved.
Mr Steele, who is looking for a new job, spent three weeks in Southampton General Hospital after the accident before being transferred to the RHCH.
After his stump wound became critically infected and was slow to heal, Dr Dryden suggested the enhanced honey dressings and within three days it had significantly improved.
Five days later he went home where he continued the daily honey treatment.
Mr Steele’s wife, Jo, 31, said: “Honey sounds so simple but it works. People are moving away from antibiotics to more natural remedies. It could help a lot of people.”
Honey has been used for its healing powers for thousands of years.
However Surgihoney has been “turbo-boosted” to be better at beating bugs than other honeys, including Manuka Honey from New Zealand, says Dr Dryden who conducted tests in a lab at the RHCH.
Dr Dryden said: “Surgihoney is active against all the bugs we find in soft tissue wounds. I have not found anything it doesn’t kill. The important extra is that it kills the bugs but it doesn’t damage the tissue. It is a fantastic natural medicine.”
He added: “I am sure Ben’s recovery is due to his tremendous motivation and hard work but that would not have been possible without full healing of his wound to which I have no doubt that Surgihoney made a major contribution.”
Surgihoney has been developed by businessman turned beekeeper Ian Staples, former managing director of motor accessories chain Halfords, and his son Stuart with the help of scientists in Ireland.
It has been approved for use as a medical device but is not yet commercially available.
Comments are closed on this article.