Man recalls horror moment he was trapped inside baler at West Cumbrian waste site

19 May 2017 5:58PM

A man who was crushed inside a paper baler at West Cumbrian waste site has visited the charity which saved his life.

Peter Deadman, 59, of Greysouthen, near Cockermouth, suffered an open fracture of his arm, a crushed bicep and vein, kidney trauma and a 'misplaced' pelvis in the incident at Cumbria Waste Management in Workington.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) flew to the scene on April, 5, 2015. Paramedic Terry Sharpe said Mr Deadman was very lucky.

He said: “When we arrived, all I could see was an arm and a leg sticking out of the machine. I expected the worst.”

Mr Deadman said: "My arm was numb. I couldn’t feel anything. As I was being released, I thought one of the paramedics said, 'Don’t forget his arm,' so I thought it had come off.”

Mr Deadman's son James, 27, who also worked at the waste plant, called his mum, Christine, to tell her what had happened.

Mrs Deadman, 56, said: “It was surreal. You don’t know how you’re going to act in a situation like that until you’re thrown into it but it was like I was on autopilot. It felt like I was looking in at someone else’s life. It’s like you’re totally lost.

“I went down to the plant. When I saw him, paramedics were wheeling him on a stretcher with a foil blanket wrapped around him, which was black on the outside. My initial thought was that it was a body bag. I thought it was over.”

Mr Sharpe said: “When you are crushed, circulation stops and your tissue swells. The dangerous part is when you are released from the crush because the tissue has been deprived of oxygen and toxins flow back into the body which can cause multiple organ failure. It is very painful.

“We gave Peter strong painkillers and fluids to dilute the toxins. We bound his pelvis in a sling and splinted his arm before getting him to hospital for further treatment.

“The call-out sticks in my mind because of its unusual nature. He is a very lucky man.”

Mr Deadman was flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and spent nearly four hours in the operating theatre, where surgeons carried out procedures including a vein graft. He has two metal plates in his arm with eight screws and pins in his pelvis.

Mr and Mrs Deadman visited the GNAAS base at Langwathby to thank Mr Sharpe.

The pair have now visited the GNAAS Langwathby airbase to thank Mr Sharpe, who said Mr Deadman was a very lucky man.

Mrs Deadman, a factory worker at the Derwent pencil factory, said: “It’s been emotional. If the air ambulance hadn’t got there in the golden hour, things might have been different.

“Without GNAAS, he wouldn’t be here. It’s been amazing to be able to say thanks properly. We are just so grateful.”

Mr Deadman, who now works as an Asda delivery driver, said: “GNAAS is the best thing ever. A lot of people would be dead without it.”

To give something back to the charity that saved their father, James and his sister Caroline Baker ran the Hastings Half Marathon and raised £600.

Mr Deadman has spoken about the rescue as the GNAAS celebrates 15 years as an independent registered charity.

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