Fife man’s organs collapsed after being crushed by forklift at work

Gordon Taylor needed significant medical attention.
Gordon Taylor needed significant medical attention.

A man crushed by a forklift and left in “unbearable” pain after his organs collapsed says the swift response by the Scottish Ambulance Service saved his life.

Gordon Taylor (55) of Cowdenbeath, was working at a paper mill in Leslie when the horrific accident happened.

Gordon was working for an engineering company, based in Kirkcaldy, and had been contracted out to work at the mill for the day.

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It was a Monday morning on October 15 last year and Gordon was walking through the mill. A colleague, operating a forklift, accidentally struck Gordon.

He explained: “It caught me on the hip, on my left side, and a concrete wall was on the right. I was crushed against the wall.”

The forklift was pinned against him. He then felt his organs collapse, adding: “As soon as it was moved, I hit the floor. That’s when I realised how bad I was – the first thing I felt was my legs and toes.

“The first thing that came to my mind was ‘that’s a relief’ – if I had not had felt them moving, it would have been 10 times worse – worse in my head anyway.

“I could not move and the pain was unbearable. I knew I was seriously damaged, but there was no blood – everything, all the damage, was internal, there was no visible sign. The next thing I could see was the ambulance arriving.”

Two ambulance crews were dispatched; one from Glenrothes, which included Mandy Higgins onboard, and the other was from Leven, manned by Darren Somerscale and Kathryn Wheater.

Given the seriousness of Gordon’s injuries, an air ambulance crew, which included Billy Burns and Colin Hird onboard, was dispatched. They were backed by Dr Jayne McKinlay and Dr Alastair Baird, who were part of the on duty EMRS (Emergency Medical Retrieval Service) team.

Gordon said he thought he was on the ground for about 30 minutes, but, in the aftermath found out was a bit longer. He continued: “I think I was actually there for about two and a half hours.

“Paramedic crews were there first, but I was in that much pain and they could not move me – the pain was the main thing going through my mind.”

Gordon was airlifted to Ninewells and spent three days in intensive care.

Gordon’s wife, Davina Taylor, recalling the incident, said she had just arrived home in the morning.

She said: “His boss called me at 11am – he said to me that Gordon had been in an accident, but it was not known what happened, and I did not know if he had been airlifted or not. I phoned his mum and dad, but I did not know much about what was going on.”

The accident resulted in Gordon suffering a broken femur, a broken right hip, a ruptured bladder and five fractures of the pelvis. His urethra was also torn off his bladder and his kidneys were failing.

Gordon was operated on the following day and later moved to the High Dependency Unit before he was eventually transferred to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

He added: “They saved my life that day – the air ambulance was quicker and the transfer time was critical – especially after a few hours on the ground. At the end of the day, the ambulance crew could not lift me.”

Davina said: “I would love to say thanks very much – if not for them, he would not be here today.”

Gordon’s brother Brian Taylor set up a fundraising page, raising money for SCAA (Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance). A target of £250 was set, and been smashed. A total of £1765 has been raised for SCAA.

Gordon said: “Even though the SCAA wasn’t involved, they rely on public donations, so this is why we chose to fundraise for SCAA.”

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