Doctor cuts off man's arm to save his life
The doctor had to amputate the man's arm in pitch darkness after his arm was dragged into a machine
By Will Lyon
MORAY, Scotland — An engineer who had his arm amputated in pitch darkness after a factory accident was yesterday reunited with the doctor who saved his life.
John Thomson was trying to fix a chain on a conveyor belt when his right arm was dragged into the machine at WN Lindsay grain store in Keith, Moray.
With blood pouring from the wound, John, 56, was trapped and thought he was going to die. But Dr Pam Hardy, a consultant at Dr Gray's hospital at Elgin, came out and amputated his arm.
John, of Banff, Aberdeenshire, said: "There's no doubt about it. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Dr Hardy. She saved my life.
"Others wouldn't have been able to do it because they're not as highly trained as her.
"I was down in the pit where the machine is and she couldn't see anything down there because it was pitch black, so she was just working by feeling about. It's amazing what she did. It happened at about seven in the morning at about harvest time in October when I had been trying to fix a problem with the conveyor belt.
"I had switched it off and unfortunately one of the other guys didn't realise I was down there and turned the machine back on by mistake.
Chain "I had my arm down the back trying to sort out the chain and it was swallowed up.
"I got myself out a little bit, but by that time the whole lower arm had been taken off by the machine.
"I was stuck in the machine for about an hour as the Fire Brigade couldn't get me out of it.
"But I had lost so much blood that I lost all my strength and started to get close to passing out.
"It got to the stage where I just thought 'this is it, I'm not going to get out' and the next thing was I woke up in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary."
John, his wife Denise, 50, and their three sons, John 31, Christopher, 29, and Scott, 22, are now hoping to raise as much money as possible for Moray Immediate Care Scheme, which helps deal with industrial accidents.
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