A tree surgeon who almost beheaded himself in a horrific chainsaw accident is raising cash for the air ambulance charity that helped save his life.
Tom Connelly cut through more than a third of his neck when he lost his footing while working 60ft up a tree.
The 26-year-old from Clophill, was sawing through a branch when he slipped on to the 12-inch blade, slashing his neck and left arm.
His colleagues rushed to his aid and emergency services were called out, along with air ambulance charity Magpas Helimedix.
Tom lost an incredible three litres of blood and surgeons say he would have bled to death within three minutes if the team had not treated him so quickly.
He said: “I went into shock, but the adrenalin kicked in so I didn’t actually feel any pain.
“I later realised I’d nearly cut my head off, so I am incredibly lucky to be here today.”
He spent five days undergoing emergency surgery and today, four years after the freak accident, he is fully recovered.
Tom is now urging the public to support the air ambulance service’s annual Orange Day on May 20.
People can get their workplace, school or social club to wear something orange and donate £1. Or they can raise sponsorship cash with ideas such as sitting in a baked bean bath or eating only orange foods for the day.
Tom said: “It’s really important to support this local cause, as no one knows when we might need their help.
“The doctor and paramedic had the specialist knowledge and equipment needed to save my life there and then. Without Magpas Air Ambulance, I wouldn’t be here. “
Magpas relies on public donations to keep going and expert doctors and paramedics volunteer their own time to bring crucial care to patients in life-threatening emergencies and accidents.
In the last two years alone, the charity has been called out 326 times to incidents in Bedfordshire.
These incidents range from serious road traffic collisions to heart attacks.
You can get a fundraising pack for Magpas Orange Day by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively you can call 01480 371060, or search for ‘Magpas Air Ambulance’ on Facebook.