A drunk driver has told how his life “forever changed” following a horrific crash which left him needing to have his penis and one of his testicles amputated.
Paul Berry, 29, lost control of his car when driving home drunk and was thrown out the back window.
The car rolled over and landed on his lap - breaking his neck, jaw, hips, nose, pelvis and sustaining a brain injury.
His penis and one of his testicles were badly injured and had to be amputated.
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‘I didn’t feel like a ‘man’ until after the accident’
Paul said: “They had to amputate my, well, manhood. It’s like they chopped a tree down and there’s a stump.
“Ironic, because I didn’t feel like a ‘man’ until after the accident.
“I want to tell the world about the emotional toll this took and will always take on me.
“It has forever changed my life in a way that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.”
Paul, who admits that he had enjoyed a few drinks earlier that evening with a friend, lost control of the car when he was driving to see his then-girlfriend at 2am on May 10 2014.
“I either fell asleep or I slipped in the rain,” he said.
“I started to go one way and I turned the wheel the other way trying to correct myself but I overcorrected which caused the vehicle to flip.
“It rolled a few times and I was ejected out the back window, and then I went flying and the car kept rolling and I hit the ground and the car happened to stop rolling right on top of me.”
‘They said that my heart stopped for a few seconds’
A driver following him stopped to help and signalled for other motorists to stop and help lift the car off Paul.
Paul, who lived in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA at the time, was transported to hospital by air ambulance and put into a medically induced coma on the way.
“They said that my heart stopped for a few seconds when I was in the air,” he said.
Paul broke his neck both his hips, pelvis, two ribs, his jaw, his nose and sustained a traumatic brain injury.
He did not wake up from his coma for five weeks, during which he had a titanium jaw fitted, 13 screws in his chin and plates put in both sides of his face.
"You couldn’t tell by looking at me though, they did a damn good job,” Paul said.
During the crash, the car wheel had come off and the metal that was left landed directly in Paul’s lap crushing his genital area.
He said: "I had a scar that looks surprisingly healed now, but it basically smashed it and the middle of the shaft was dead tissue.
"They tried to reconstruct it but it was unsuccessful."
‘I felt overwhelmed, like my life was over’
When he finally woke up, Paul did not initially register the extent of his injuries.
He said: “I don’t know if I just didn’t want to believe it, it was shocking,
“I thought that it would heal, but the doctor came in and asked me if I had any frozen semen in case I wanted to have kids because I wouldn’t be able to have kids."
He added: “I felt overwhelmed, like my life was over.
“I even had the name of my baby girl chosen from when I was 14 years old, that crushed me.
“I have always dreamt of having a baby girl - my whole life, basically.”
What remained of his genitals was a "stump" and one testicle, although Paul says his penis does still have sensation.
‘My dog gives me a purpose to wake up every day’
After the accident, Paul’s sister Danielle Berry, 34, kept his beloved ten-year-old Labrador-boxer cross Resse and told him that he couldn’t have her back until he was fully healed.
This motivated the dog-lover to get his life back on track.
He said: "I kind of realised the same things you die for you also live for.
"My then-fiancée, my dog, my family, my nieces and nephews - but mainly the dog.
"She helps me more than you could ever imagine, she gives me a purpose to wake up every day.
"I don’t work to get money for myself, I get money for her expensive dog food."
‘I didn’t feel like a man until after I didn’t have a manhood’
In December 2014, Paul heard about the first ever successful penis transplant having been performed in South Africa.
"But that was the first one ever and that was shortly after and I don’t have enough money for all that," he said.
"I’m not holding my breath, if it happens that’s great."
Physically Paul is fully recovered, but it wasn’t until now that he finally has the confidence to speak out about how the accident changed his life.
Happily single, he said: "I feel like I can open up about it, I’m not ashamed anymore.
"Life’s hard but it’s made me a lot more confident in myself.
"I realise it’s not the most important thing and that doesn’t make you who you are.
"I can honestly say I didn’t feel like a man until after I didn’t have a manhood."
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