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Monday, May 7, 2018

Incredible story of suicidal man who broke every bone in his body jumping off a bridge then recovered to build £3m businesslike

Incredible story of suicidal man who broke every bone in his body jumping off a bridge then recovered to build ?3m business
Almost 20 years ago, Michael Josephson was tired of life and tried to kill himself. He almost succeeded, but narrowly escaped death. He now has a lot to live for as he has built a successful business and helped raise millions for charity.


Josephson found himself haunted by a traumatic past and his sexuality, so, in December 1998, he jumped off a bridge over the A34 in a failed suicide attempt. The fall broke every bone in his body but he miraculously survived. While being treated for the catastrophic injuries, Michael decided he wouldn't let the bullies win and that he would make a success of his life.

Michael, now 42, told the Manchester Evening News : "That was the turning point of my life. I thought - I want to be a success, I want to live, I want to help other young people. Why should I let other people finish me off?
"I gave in to the bullies by jumping off that bridge. You should never give in to bullies."
From the moment his physical injuries began to heal, Michael worked hard to build a multi-million-pound business, and he has proudly raised an incredible £3.4m for Childline and the NSPCC over the past 15 years. He was awarded the MBE by the Queen in 2016 for his services to charity.

Incredible story of suicidal man who broke every bone in his body jumping off a bridge then recovered to build ?3m business

Michael describes his childhood as "hell" after the death of his mother when he was aged just 11. From then on, he was passed from different care homes. At the age of 16, he enrolled himself in college to get a BTEC in business and finance, and got a job working in the import and export business, showing natural flair. 
But away from work, his mental health continued to suffer - particularly as he then struggled to come to terms with his own sexuality - and he spiralled out of control. In the early hours of December 28, he went to the bridge over the dual carriageway with plans to end his life.
He recalls:
I’d been taking a lot of alcohol and drugs, I wasn’t sleeping at night and I was taking tablets to keep me calm during the day. 
It was the first year I’d not been to put flowers on my mum’s grave and it had eaten me up. I went out and decided I didn’t want to be here anymore.
I went to the bridge and my legs were dangling over, and the next thing I knew there was police there, ambulance there. I think I was on the bridge three hours.
In the end I didn’t want to jump, but in my head, I’d dug my own grave. I thought if I climb back over I’ll be arrested for wasting police time or put in a lunatic asylum. I just thought I’m going to have to jump. But pushing myself, I have no recollection of that.
He continued: 
I was in hospital for months after that - I had fractures in my back, I’d shattered both ankles, the tibia and fibula in both legs snapped. But they said it was a miracle I’d survived. I landed standing up, and if I’d fallen any other way I’d have been dead.
But as I lay there in hospital I knew I wanted to be a success - to make money and to give back money to those in need as well.
I wanted to make my mum proud of me.
I’d broken pretty much every bone in my body and had many operations, but I came out a new man.
He returned to the business he had just started with partners, Stocks Manchester Ltd, buying end-of-line and discounted stocks and supplying them to discount stores.
People supported me, the business went on, I came back, and I really threw myself into business.
Michael’s association with Childline, the helpline for abused children, also started after he left the hospital, when he was invited to attend the annual Childline ball as a guest.
He said:
That evening I started to tell them how I wanted to give back. Childline couldn’t help me, I was too frightened to ring up when it could have saved me from all that pain and abuse, but I hoped it could help others.
Michael became close friends with Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen, and it was through Esther he felt able to first reveal his horrific childhood experiences to a wider audience, when Esther told his story, anonymously, at the annual charity ball.
Michael said:
At the Childline Ball Esther told my story and I didn’t know if I would let people in the room know it was me. But as she was telling the story people who knew me started looking at me, and three people on my table were crying. She asked if I wanted to get up and I just stood. That was the first time I publicly did it. I got a standing ovation. So many people contacted me afterwards.”
Michael decided last year that after 15 years of supporting Childline he wanted to be able to help other charities and reach out to more children - and so decided to start his own charity ball which will each year support different charities.
Michael is in a civil partnership with Lindon, and the couple live in Cheshire.
He says:
Now I have everything to live for. I’ve got a partner, I’m happy and I’ve learnt to love and be loved. 
The things I’ve learned is that you can’t hide in the past and you shouldn’t look back - you need to look forward into the future and how you can help yourself and other people.

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