An army veteran from East Lancashire can only move his eyebrows after a serious accident at work.

Roofer Josh Chapman, from Padiham, was attending his day job as normal on March 12 when he slipped and fell from the top of a ladder in Burnley.

Paramedics had to place the ex-Royal Engineer, who previously had toured with the British armed forces, into an induced coma at the side of the road before he was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital.

The roofer is bed-bound and unable to talk after suffering a broken back, severe trauma to his head and a popped lung following the accident.

His friend Nathan Everiss, who will be raising money to support Josh, was told that the 31-year-old may not recover at all.

"We were expecting to get the phone call; if you know what I mean," the 28-year-old told LancsLive.

"He's a bully lad, really outgoing and really well known in the town of Padiham, he doesn't have a bad bone in his body. I would like to pray to god that he will recover and come back as good as he was before but who knows?

"He has had two big brain operations, that sound serious going over just two days. The whole experience has completely shocked me, it's weird, you just don't expect to get a phone call about that one day."

Josh is currently in the ICU at Preston Royal Hospital.
Josh is currently in the ICU at Preston Royal Hospital.

Nathan has known Josh for the best part of 20 years with the two men growing up as neighbours.

Being the older child, Josh used to walk Nathan to school and later became a good friend of his, inviting him to parties and nights out.

Nathan said: "He's a proper bubbly lad, he never thinks down on life; he's always positive. He's always been hardworking but he's up for a drink and night out. I know that this incident will probably change his life forever."

Having spent some time with the Royal Engineers, attending a single tour, Josh left the army and began working as a roofer.

Speaking about the accident, Nathan said: "He hit his head hard and broke the lower part of his back. When you hit your head you can be sick but the sick didn't come up it just went down into his lungs burning them.

"He was in a really bad way at the side of the road, the ambulance put him into a coma before airlifting him to hospital."

Josh with his father, Sean, mother, Lorraine, and sister, Sophie.
Josh with his father, Sean, mother, Lorraine, and sister, Sophie.

Josh had to undergo emergency brain surgery within hours of arriving at Preston Royal.

The surgery, to relieve the growing pressure on Josh's skull went well, and he remained in hospital over the subsequent weekend.

Nathan said: "The first 48 hours were the worst but he seemed to get through that.

"But then on the Monday his dad told us that there had been a deterioration. He told us that it wasn't hopeless but to be ready for bad news."

Following another operation on his brain, Josh was finally stabilised.

The ex-squaddie is coming up to his sixth week as a hospital in-patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Preston.

His injuries have left him unable to move or speak with the 31-year-old only able to move his eye brows by means of communication.

"I want to do whatever I can to help him, whatever he needs," said Nathan. "He lights up a room the moment he walks in.

"He's funny and he's just so caring; if you went to him and told him your problems he would help you and he would want to sort them out."

Nathan and Josh at a wedding, the two have been friends for 20 years.
Nathan and Josh at a wedding, the two have been friends for 20 years.

Nathan will be taking on the Three Peaks challenge, climbing Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, on May 29.

He will be hoping to complete his sponsored climb in less than 12 hours with all the proceeds going towards supporting Josh in his recovery.

You can support Nathan's charity three peaks challenge for Josh by visiting his GoFundMe page here.

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