Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire tree surgeon saved after chainsaw cut neck

A man who severed his jugular vein with a chainsaw has thanked the medical charity that helped to save his life.

Tom Connelly, a tree surgeon from Cambridgeshire, cut through at least a third of his neck and was moments from death after slipping at work in April.

Staff from the emergency medical charity, Magpas, treated his injuries with specialist bandages.

Mr Connelly has met the doctors who attended the accident and presented a donation from the company he works for.

"It was an everyday job, but I slipped off my chainsaw irons onto my saw," Mr Connelly explained.

"I managed to hit it with my neck, unfortunately, severing most of the vessels. I cut through my jugular vein.

"[The doctors] reckoned I was about 1mm away from cutting through my carotid artery.

"From touching your jugular vein they reckon you have four minutes before bleeding out."

'Spurting blood'

Mr Connelly's colleagues managed to bring him down from the tree and ambulance staff and medics from Magpas arrived within minutes.

Dr James French, a Magpas medic who attended the incident, said: "When we got there, there was a young man with a very large wound in the side of his neck with, literally, blood spurting out of it.

"We sedated him and made him comfortable and then packed the wound with this gauze that's used in Afghanistan to treat combat wounds."

Mr Connelly also severed nerves in his shoulder and has undergone nerve grafts, which, if successful, could result in him regaining 90% mobility in that arm.

He said he had now been able to return to part-time work "in light duties, but I've not been up a tree since".

"It's only thanks to my colleagues, the staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and the Magpas team that I'm here today," Mr Connelly said.

"You try to express emotions for it but you just can't put it into words. I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for these blokes. It's quite a powerful emotion."

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