Bridge Plunge


Story Details

Paul Watt's story is one of bad decisions and the mostly unlikely of second chances.

One night in February 2010 Paul was on a bus going over Melbourne's Bolte Bridge. It ended with him falling 30 metres onto concrete.

Paul, normally a non-drinker, was blind drunk when he got into an argument with another reveller on his brother's buck's night. His memory is hazy. All he knows is he got off the bus to avoid a fight and leapt over a barrier not realising that he was on a bridge and below him was a 30 metre drop.

Police responded expecting to be retrieving a body -- instead they found Paul not only alive but conscious and upright despite breaking nearly every bone in his body.

The 36-year-old shattered every bone in his feet, snapped both legs in half and broke his left knee -- a nail now runs through his femur which he smashed in seven places. He cracked his pelvis, broke his tailbone in half, shattered his L2 vertebrae, broke both arms, every bone in his wrist was smashed, his ribs were broken and so were both elbows. “It really hit home to the point where, wow I’m going to die. The doctors rang my fiancée that night and pretty much said say goodbye to your fiancé, you're not going to see him again”, Paul said.

But Lee Hunt got the miracle she'd prayed for -- somehow Paul survived. After three weeks in an induced coma, seven months in hospital and countless rehab sessions, he can now walk and even jump with his daughter Chloe. “I’ve landed pretty much like that in a frog position and I do think it was my karate training”, Paul said.

Doctor Gordian Fulde from Sydney's St Vincent hospital believes this former martial arts champion had a winning advantage. “He's a fit man, he's a physical instructor and he's absorbed his fall by his legs and arms and rolled”, Dr Fulde said.

In a fall this bad, most of us would be six foot under. “Anybody falling more than about 12 metres is at serious danger of death - even five”, he added.

“I reckon there is a greater purpose in all this for me -- obviously he's got a bigger plan for me”, Paul said.

Paul is a father of four and has had a chequered past. “I had a bad past and I've been locked up in jail”, Paul said.

He reformed himself, dedicated his life to teaching karate and guiding troubled teens. “I've actually worked for the First Time Offenders Program, working with young offenders to turn their lives around”, Paul said.

The hard yards aren't over for Paul; he's lost one leg and soon he'll lose the other. But still he considers himself lucky. “I just want to live for my family now”, Paul said.