A Humberside father of four who lost part of his leg in a fork-lift truck accident is planning to raise money for the air ambulance charity that helped to save his life.
Rob Smith’s life changed in an instant last April when he was pinned against a wall by a forklift truck while delivering chipboard to a company in Batley.
The corner of the rig went through the 37-year-old’s right knee, severing his leg. “I had managed to jump out the way but my leg was caught between the back of the forklift and the corner of the wall,” said Rob.
“When the truck pulled back and I looked down I knew it was bad. I was laid on the floor and put my head back and even though there was lots of noise around everything went quiet and black and all I could see like a little candlelight.
“That scared me and that was when I woke myself up and looking again I knew I had to do something to stop the bleeding. I was losing so much.”
Rob, who is first aid trained, did what he could to stem the blood flow himself and got horrified workers to get him a tourniquet before the emergency services arrived including Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The accident features on this week’s episode of Helicopter ER – the reality TV series featuring the work of rapid response emergency service.
Rob’s efforts and those of the medics saved his life but could not save his leg which was amputated just above the knee. After nine days in hospital and intensive occupational and physiotherapy, he has learned to walk with a mechanical leg.
He has returned to an office-based role as head of transport and health and safety for Yorkshire Plywood and is now planning to fundraise for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
“I know it is me who has experienced this but it really has hit my family big time and it’s not been until the last couple of months that I’ve realised just how much,” said Rob.
“I wanted to get back some kind of normality as soon as possible. It has been a challenge, and there’s still a long way to go but the main thing is I’m just so grateful to be here, that the kids still have their Dad.
“I can’t thank the air ambulance enough. You don’t realise just how much amazing work they do until you need them yourself and I would really like to do something to raise some money for them in the New Year.”
Photo: Rob Smith from Hessle whose leg was amputated after a forklift truck accident with two of his children Poppy and Ollie.