Propeller victim praises ‘miracle’ surgeon

A WOMAN who nearly lost her arm after she was struck by an aircraft propeller has praised a surgeon who “went above and beyond the call of duty” to save her injured limb.

Cathy Daly, who was discharged from Lister Hospital on Monday, was on RAF Henlow with a local flying club when she somehow got too close to the propeller of a fixed-wing plane.

A Helimedix team, from charity Magpas, were scrambled after the horror accident and the 35-year-old was rushed to hospital by land ambulance where surgeons saved her arm after a 10-hour operation.

She said: “With an accident like this you can never envisage how it will make you feel. Immediately after my injury I was petrified but focused solely on saving my limb.

“Upon arrival at Lister A&E, the team of staff appointed to my injury swiftly whipped into action, as a team they worked in a slick, streamlined and reassuring manner.

“I was in theatre within an hour of arrival at hospital, during the 10-hour operation, chief surgeon Dr Fred Schreuder performed miracle surgery and managed to save my limb.

“I believe Dr Schreuder worked above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this fantastic outcome.

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“I am eternally grateful to Dr Schreuder and his team.”

Ms Daly, who is a civilian and not employed by the RAF, was on the site with the Henlow Flying Club, on April 8. The club said that her survival was aided by the professionalism of its staff.

The club manager, who did not want to be named, said: “One of our staff helped her and stemmed her blood flow for 15 minutes before the services arrived.

“It was her thinking and quick reactions that saved her arm and managed to save her life.”

The consultant plastic surgeon who operated on Ms Daly applauded her courage and the skill of the team who worked with him.

Dr Schreuder said: “Cathy has been a very courageous patient.

“I think that her treatment from the time of her injury to her discharge is an example of NHS teamwork at its best.

“I think we can all be justifiably proud of our hospital and the specialist services it offers.”

The incident is currently being investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch which looks into all aircraft related accidents in the UK.

A spokesman for the body said: “Each investigation is different.

“We are investigating through correspondence. This is where one of our investigators writes to pilots.”

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