Amputee Lanarkshire man devastated by horror accident inspired to volunteer at University Hospital Hairmyres

-Credit: (Image: NHS Lanarkshire)
-Credit: (Image: NHS Lanarkshire)

A Lanarkshire man devastated by a horrific quad bike accident that led to the amputation of his leg has been inspired to help others by volunteering at University Hospital Hairmyres.

As a dedicated volunteer at University Hospital Hairmyres, Simon Hall uses his experience, which happened a few years ago, to provide hope and encouragement to patients facing similar trials.

Simon, from Cumbernauld, marked the amputation as the beginning of a new chapter, motivated by a desire to help others.

Simon said: “We were on holiday with the family up in Fort William. I was on a quad bike and it was going down a hill and it was going too fast.

"Somebody was driving, I was the passenger, and I put my foot down, which I'm not supposed to do, but the guy wasn't braking in time. So I kind of took the decision that I'd rather get hurt than two of us get hurt.

Simon Hall has been a dedicated volunteer -Credit:NHS Lanarkshire
Simon Hall has been a dedicated volunteer -Credit:NHS Lanarkshire

“My foot got stuck and I had to pull out between the rock and the quad bike. I felt my leg snap and it was flapping and I thought I'd lost my leg then.

“I got airlifted from Fort William to Glasgow, where they did an operation and managed to save my leg. But after a while, I thought there was something not right.

"It was a condition called chronic regional pain syndrome. And my leg was starting going black. I couldn't put any covers on it or anything over it. It was just horrendous pain.

“But, thankfully, I got a surgeon who knew what it was and made a decision that they would amputate my leg. So I'm so thankful for that because it's the best decision I've made.”

Simon and his surgeon decided his leg should be amputated due to the pain levels he was living with every day.

Simon continued: “It wasn't a hard decision to make because of the pain I was in, and I had no life, I couldn't do anything, I couldn't go anywhere.

“I had my operation in the December and was told I would be in over Christmas. I woke up after my operation needing the toilet. I got up straight away with my sticks and went straight the toilet. And I remember there were two other people in the ward shouting, ‘What are you doing? You've just lost your leg!’

“I was walking up and down the ward that whole day because I wanted home and actually got out on the 24th. I think I'm the quickest ever person to get an amputation and be out home within a day and a half. I got home for Christmas.”

He was inspired after his accident -Credit:NHS Lanarkshire
He was inspired after his accident -Credit:NHS Lanarkshire

Simon initially began his volunteering journey at the vascular ward in University Hospital Hairmyres with the amputee charity Finding Your Feet.

Simon added: “While volunteering with the amputees, I got to go know the physios and asked one of them if there was a volunteer role where I could come in and just to talk to patients.

“My heart goes out to folk who don’t have visitors. By coming in and spending five minutes with them, I can make someone’s day. Some can't get up at all, some can only get up for a day, maybe once a week. Just the time you spend, a couple of minutes listening to them, it does help them.

“Just those couple of minutes spending time listening, telling me their problems, maybe getting stuff off their chest.

“Being an amputee, I can talk to other amputees and let them know what the journey is like. If they've got any questions, they can ask me. There have been patients who have not had their amputation yet and they’ve asked to speak to me just for advice.

“I just tell them my experiences and listen to what they’re saying. And every time they decided to go for it, because life’s too short. If you're in pain, it just destroys your life. I'm happy if my advice helps them make the right decision for themselves.

“It’s just being human - being there for somebody, to listen. If I can help somebody, it's the best feeling."

NHS Lanarkshire is currently recruiting new volunteers. To find out more about volunteering, visit their website.

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