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Daily columnist’s freak accident to feature on BBC show

A freak accident which left a regional daily’s racing columnist with serious injuries is set to feature in a BBC programme next week.

Tom O’Ryan, left, who writes a daily column for The Press in York, was badly injured in a grass-cutting accident at his home near Malton at the end of May.

The accident will feature on BBC1’s Helicopter Heroes programme on Monday (9 Dec) as a cameraman from the show was on board the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which flew out to Tom’s home.

The incident left Tom with a crushed vertebra and multiple fractures after he was hit in the back by a flying fence post and it was four months before he could return to work.

He told the paper that he initially thought the footage of his rescue would be unsuitable because there would be too much swearing.

Tom also praised the prompt assistance he received from the local ambulance service and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

He said: “Both services did a tremendous job and I am very grateful. I suspect it will be a bit emotional to see it now, six and a bit months on.

“It will bring it all back, but it may also be a reminder of how far I’ve bounced back. I’m not quite where I’d like to be yet, but I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. The outcome could have been considerably worse.”

The helicopter that Tom was taken on initially attempted to take him to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, but bad weather on the day made landing difficult and they re-routed to York, where he was stabilised before being transferred to the intensive care unit at Hull Royal Infirmary.

He spent three weeks in hospital and underwent two major operations, being confined to a wheelchair for six weeks after surgery.

Tom then had to wear a body brace for three months and returned to work using a walking stick four months after the accident.

The TV programme will be shown on Monday on BBC1 and Tuesday on BBC2.