A MAN who feared he might never have children after being paralysed from the neck down has told of his joy at becoming a dad with the wife who stuck by him.

Tom and Ellen Nabarro, from Standlake worried they may never have a family after he severed his spinal cord and shattered two vertebrae in a snowboarding accident in April 2007.

The accident left him wheelchair-bound, unable to move from the shoulders down and without sensation or voluntary movement in his limbs.

But the software engineer and his wife, who were together for two years before the accident and wed in 2012, were delighted when she fell pregnant in June 2017.

Their little boy Ori – whose name means ‘my light’ in Hebrew – arrived in March at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, and like any other first-time dad, he was at his wife’s side for the birth.

Though he is unable to do many of the things most parents take for granted, he said he instead focuses on finding things he can do.

He got his first skin-to-skin contact thanks to a baggy hoodie, allowing him to cuddle Ori ‘like a little kangaroo’.

The proud parent said: “Not being able to have children was one of the things I worried about most post-injury, so to finally have a baby of our own is absolutely incredible.

“We have been enjoying every moment with our son so far – every squawk, gurgle or piglet-like noise.”

“We are focusing on the things I can do like reading him stories, having him lie on my belly and listen to my voice. He definitely recognises my voice when I speak.”

Mr Nabarro almost died when he dislocated his neck, suffered three cardiac arrests and was left unconscious for three weeks after his snowboarding fall in Bulgaria in 2007.

He spent more than a year in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, with then-girlfriend, Ellen, by his side.

In 2008, he was finally discharged and the pair moved into a wheelchair-adapted extension in Standlake near Witney.

The couple tied the knot at an emotional ceremony in summer of 2012 attended by many of the nurses who cared for him.

On fears over being able to start a family, he said: “At the beginning – because it goes in stages through rehab for spinal surgery – my immediate worries were focused around my health.

“But after a little time and as I started to recover, I began to think about the future and I did ask doctors those kinds of questions about Ellen and I being able to conceive.

“Ellen and I had talked about having children. It was something we’d always dreamed of.”

As it turned out, Mr Nabarro's condition did not stop the pair from having a normal sex life, though they still wonder how easy conception would be.

He said: “It’s not until you talk to people who have been through a similar position that you start to think it might be possible. When we found out Ellen was pregnant we were so happy and we just felt a huge relief.”

Ori arrived on March 14 and Mr Nabarro said it was an emotional moment when he held his son for the first time.

He added: “When he arrived and we heard him let out his first gasp for air it was such a very special moment.The nurses kept saying to me: ‘He’s really cute – even though he’s got your nose'. Ori definitely looks like both of us – with Ellen’s lips and my distinctive nose.”

The Nabarro’s are now adapting to their new life as a family of three.

The new father longs to be able to scoop up his son and soothe him when he cries, to rock him gently or stroke his face – but is finding his own ways of bonding.

He said: “I’m finding the physical limitations imposed by disability difficult with regard to parental interactions. I would love to hold and cuddle Ori but instead we are maximising the time spent skin-to-skin.

“It does feel like he is relaxed and enjoys the vibrations when I hum.”

The couple have nicknamed their son ‘BOJ’ - which stands for bundle of joy, and say they hope to add to their brood in the future.