A MAN has told of the moment his life changed forever when the bar where he was having drinks and pizza with his friends in Brazil collapsed on top of him, leaving him paraplegic.
Maicon Godinho de Oliveira, 35, left his home and walked 200 meters to the Just 4D bar in the São Geraldo neighborhood of Porto Alegre, where he expected to have a fun night.
Less than ten minutes after arriving, Maicon was hit in the back by part of the bar’s mezzanine structure which collapsed onto customers and tables in December last year.
“I felt a terrible impact and fell to the ground. I stayed there, on the ground, with everything on me. I couldn’t move,” Maicon told Gaucha ZH.
The seller was eventually taken to hospital, where he spent the next three months, including 30 days in a coma.
When he woke up, Maicon learned that he had become a paraplegic.
While fighting for his life in hospital, Maicon also suffered from infections, caught Covid-19 and developed pneumonia.
Back home, where he lives on a hospital bed provided by a friend in his room, Maicon depends on medication and daily physical exercise.
He has to use a tracheostomy tube and is forced to wear disposable diapers.
Maicon’s mother, Iraci Gomes Godinho, customized a wheelchair to fit the building’s elevator doors and allow her son to move around.
The young man has recently started to regain some tenderness in his right leg – and he’s celebrating every step of his recovery.
“My greatest desire is to walk,” he added.
Just 4D was operating illegally, city hall and police said, adding that the bar did not have a license to operate as a nightclub.
Investigations revealed that the mezzanine, which had been installed by previous tenants, had no structure to support the weight.
On the evening of the crash on December 4, 2021, which also injured engineering student Cássia Galvão de Oliveira, 25 people had gathered on the mezzanine to take a photo.
Police say the manager and his partner were made aware of the problem but took no action to prevent a collapse.
Managing partners Omar Luz Mobayed and Sérgio Luiz Rodrigues Costa were charged with bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and collapse on Tuesday.
Tmaicon’s lawyer, Ritielle Duarte, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit for moral and material damages against the bar associates, the town hall and the state government.
Just 4D’s lawyer, Gelson Lucas Pacheco Fassina da Silva, said: “The defense awaits the position of the public prosecutor and its final decision regarding the legal framework of the complaint, confident that the classification will be built without external pressure or excessive ‘charge.”