16th September 2016
Having nearly lost his life in a horrific scooter accident in January this year, Steve Campbell completely amazed his doctors, family, friends and tutors by recovering sufficiently to return to his studies and graduate alongside his peers at the York College Graduation Ceremony at York Minster.
Following his accident, Steve was air-lifted to Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and was in an induced coma for ten days. He broke his spine in several places, had a crushed neck, broken ribs, damaged pancreas, liver and lungs and some brain damage. Says Steve: “It was a very unstable break, so I was in danger of being paralysed for life. Then both my lungs collapsed whilst I was on the operating table and my family were told to prepare themselves for the worst. Eventually, the surgeons managed to successfully bolt and screw my spine together - I don’t remember any of it. Thankfully I am back on my feet now. After the accident I was determined to finish my degree, even though I am still in a lot of pain.”
Steve, aged 50 from Fulford, is well-known for his distinctive artwork. He uses scrap metal and recycling products to create astonishing pieces of art, and he was one of just two students chosen to exhibit in York Open Studios this year. Steve has had several commissions whilst studying at College and hopes to gain more now he has finished his studies.”
Steve is looking to the future and planning his career as a freelance artist. He says: “Graduating in York Minster will have massive personal significance for me and my family. I didn’t think I could study for a degree in the first place, let alone deal with the trauma of my accident. I’m proud to have achieved a high 2:1 classification in my BA (Hons) degree in Contemporary 3D Crafts, which in fact was a labour of love for me. Working in the art workshops at York College has been the most enjoyable and rewarding experience of my life, importantly it has given me a focus for the future. I would like to thank my tutors, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and medics at Leeds General Infirmary for their expertise and support. I owe them everything.”
Ed Poxon, tutor of Art & Design at York College is inspired by Steve. He says: “He is a hugely talented artist who has not only astonished the staff team and his fellow students by finishing the degree despite his horrific accident but that he has done it to such a successful level. Steve has already sold several pieces of work and I am confident he will establish himself as a creative maker in North Yorkshire.”