My head almost separated from my body after falling off chair



It’s terrifying to think a fall off a chair could lead to life-threatening injuries.

But that’s exactly what happened to former Royal Marine Wesley, who was almost ­paralyzed after his everyday topple made his neck practically separate from his spine.

The 78-year-old had been falling frequently and was taken to Ealing Hospital, West London, after blood tests found a perilously high calcium count in his blood.

He had an op to remove the thyroid gland in his neck that was causing the raised calcium — but pre-op scans also revealed the spine damage.

He was later moved to St Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, central London — where he was filmed for new Channel 4 documentary series Emergency, which airs nightly on Channel 4 from today until March 3.

Wesley, who is now back on his feet following surgery, recalls: “I was told my spine was very precarious and that’s why I was struggling to stand up and balance.

“I was then told I might need surgery, but initially they put a collar on to keep my neck stationary and prevent further damage to the spine. I kept that on for three months.”

Wesley, of Northolt, West London, then suffered a seizure and was told if he did not have surgery he could be paralyzed for life.’

He says: “I used to be in the Army, and have been to places where I had bullets flying all around. But nothing was scarier than to be told you could be crippled for life.

“I had always been very active. I used to run ten miles a day and was a boxer. I said yes to surgery. I had no choice.”

Accidents such as Wesley’s are everyone’s worst nightmare, but trauma kills six million people a year worldwide, including 16,000 in the UK.

From left to right: Chloe Baker, Dr. Jonathan Leung, William Harvey, Tiffany, Dr. Morgan McMonagle and Naomi Felthouse all appear in Channel 4 doc Emergency.Channel 4 / The GardenIt is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 44, and many who do survive are left with life-changing disabilities.

The new documentary follows the work of the London Trauma System — a network of 39 hospitals plus ambulance and air ambulance services set up after the Tube and bus bombings in London on July 7, 2005.

It aims to save lives by getting patients to big units where a range of specialists are on hand to help with multiple and complex injuries.

It treats more than 12,000 people a year, and since it was set up in 2010, trauma survival rates have risen by 50 percent.

‘Trauma justice league’

Surgeon Dr. Morgan McMonagle, director of trauma training for the Royal College of Surgeons, is among those featured on the show.

He says of his NHS colleagues: “Every day has its surprises. When a crisis hits, be it a stabbing or mass casualty situation, you really get to see the well-oiled machine performing at its best.

“This was highlighted in 2017 by the response to the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge attacks and the Grenfell fire tragedy.

“The British public should be very proud of the NHS.

“When you see us come together in a major trauma situation, that’s when you see us at our best. I call it Trauma Justice League.”

The documentary was filmed last year over two weeks in July and also sees Wayland, 53, blue-lighted to St Mary’s Hospital after being stabbed outside a restaurant.Channel 4 / The GardenWesley says when he looks back at footage of himself, he finds it hard to believe it is him.

During a ten-hour op, a metal plate was inserted at the base of his skull to reconnect his neck with his spine.

When he woke, his doctor asked him to lift his arms and legs — and he recalls: “Though I was restricted, I could move.

“He said that was a good sign, and I’ve never felt so relieved.”

Wesley then went into rehabilitation.

He says: “It was slow progress but eventually I could get up and down stairs, and was released to stay with my sister.

“When I look back at the footage of myself, I am shocked.

Barman Danilo, 28, from North West London, was brought in by air ambulance as a code red case after crashing his motorbike.Channel 4 / The Garden“I look a shadow of the man I was.

“But slowly, day by day, I am getting back to my former self.

“The medical staff in the trauma team are at the top of their game.

“If it wasn’t for them, I might not have walked again.”

The documentary was filmed last year over two weeks in July and also sees Wayland, 53, blue-lighted to St Mary’s Hospital after being stabbed outside a restaurant.

He suffered a 3.9 inch-wide wound to his abdomen and was bleeding heavily.

Luckily, the blade missed vital organs, and after emergency surgery Wayland was stapled up and sent home the next day.

This is the first time the inner workings of the London Trauma System have been shown on TV.

It is made up of four major trauma centers in the capital — St George’s Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, King’s College Hospital and The Royal London Hospital — as well as 35 centers in Greater London and the Home Counties.

Barman Danilo, 28, from North West London, is brought in by air ambulance as a code red case after crashing his motorbike.

Paramedics call a code red when they believe a patient could have just minutes to live.

The new documentary follows the work of the London Trauma System — a network of 39 hospitals plus ambulance and air ambulance services set up after the Tube and bus bombings in London on July 7, 2005.NurPhoto‘Degloved’ Leg

Danilo suffered multiple injuries including a ruptured aorta — the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

He also had a broken pelvis, broken wrist and degloved leg — where the top layers of skin and body tissue are ripped from the muscle, ligaments and bone underneath, which in itself can be life-threatening.

Around 90 percent of patients with a ruptured aorta die, but Danilo is rushed for surgery where doctors fit a stent in an attempt to fix his aorta and stop the bleeding.

He spends three weeks in the trauma center before being moved to a ward for physio, and is finally reunited with girlfriend Giulia.

As he recovers, he says: “Everyone from the doctors to the nurses and paramedics are heroes for me.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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