He was lying on a hospital bed fighting for his life, but the only thing he wanted to do was propose to the woman who never left him.
Michael Pulman died on September 8 of complications from injuries he sustained after a vehicle ran a red light at the intersection of Pembroke Street, Selwyn Street and Lake Crescent in Hamilton City on August 12.
Pulman and his assistant were heading to Waikato Hospital in a mobility vehicle for a routine appointment, but when the van came to a stop to avoid a speeding vehicle, Pulman’s chair tipped over , breaking ties and crushing his legs.
He was admitted to Waikato Hospital six days later and was found to have broken both legs.
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At the age of four, the Hamilton sports blogger and journalist was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that causes muscle wasting and reduced mobility. It is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. He was 29, more than double the age his parents said he would live when he was born.
âHe knew he was here for a long time, not long,â said his partner Jessica Adams. Thing.
Ultimately, Adams said, it wasn’t his disability that ended his life, it was a perforated gut and the complications that resulted from the accident.
Even in his dying moments he was thinking of someone else, said Adams, 33.
âHe told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me and proposed me to the hospital,â Adams said tearfully.
âHe was planning to propose to me on his birthday in December. He hadn’t had time to buy a ring yet, but of course I said yes.
The night he chose comfort care – or hospice care – he was joking, laughing and singing, Adams said.
“He sang the song ‘When you don’t say anything’ and we played it at his funeral.
“He was such a sweet and loving person and he always thought of others.”
He was in perfect health until this accident, she said.
On August 17, Pulman posted a video on social media telling people to be careful on the road.
âYou never know when someone is going to break the law and turn on a red light, so be careful,â he said in the video.
âAmazing how the wheelchair restraints broke under the force of the braking and deflected to avoid the impact.
âThe main thing is me and my driver are fine. It could have been a lot worse. If he hadn’t been so conscious, it would have been a head-on collision.
âBe careful on the roads people. Some absolute lunatics out there. Now it’s time for recovery.
Pulman died in his sleep in the early hours of September 8 while surrounded by his fiance, parents, support workers and loved ones. His funeral was on September 15 and his casket was taken around Seddon Park and FMG Stadium Waikato, and was buried in his Chiefs jersey given to him by Damian McKenzie.
Adams, who suffers from autism and chronic pain, was one of Pulman’s support workers. Although she said it was difficult and difficult at times, she didn’t want it any other way.
“His disability didn’t affect our relationship much, ‘other than he made me run my toes all the time,” she laughed.
Pulman had the use of his hands, forearms, feet and face and his power wheelchair was controlled by his thumb and forefinger.
He’s packed his life a lot and inspired a lot of people along the way.
Pulman left home at the age of 20, played wheelchair sports, studied a Bachelor of Media Arts at Wintec, worked for CCS Disability Action and wrote on his blog: The real Michael Pulman, and for major sporting events.
In January 2016, he met Adams.
Adams reported the car incident to police on Monday. This was not reported at the time.