Farmer miraculously survives after being impaled by 3ft long forklift spike

·3-min read
This is the moment farmer Jonathan Willis is impaled by a forklift's THREE FOOT spike that tore straight through his body - but miraculously missed his vital organs. See SWNS story SWCAforklift; This is the moment a farmer is impaled by a forklift's THREE FOOT spike that tore straight through his body - but miraculously missed his vital organs. Jonathan Willis, 42, was working on his farm when the vehicle rolled forward and ripped through his back, pinning him against a stack of straw bales on October 26, 2020. Video footage shows Jonathan unaware of the yellow JCB armed with a pair of three-foot-long steel spikes moving towards him. The left fork pierced his lower back - ripping through his intestine - and exited at his stomach. Within seconds, Jonathan's wife Wendy rushed to his aid and called 999, with crews from East Anglian Air Ambulance arriving at the scene 25 minutes later.
Video footage shows the moment farmer Jonathan Willis was impaled by a forklift truck's three-foot spike. (SWNS)

A farmer had a miraculous escape after he was impaled by a three foot-long forklift truck spike.

Jonathan Willis was working on his farm when the forklift rolled forward, piercing him with the spike, which went through his intestine and exited through his stomach but amazingly missed his vital organs. 

The 42-year-old remained conscious as emergency crews had to use an angle grinder to release him from the spike, which pinned him against a stack of straw bales on 26 October, 2020.

Video footage shows the moment the yellow JCB moved towards Willis, leaving him writhing in pain after it impaled him against the bales.

Jonathan Willis, 42, was working on his farm when a forklift truck rolled forward and ripped through his back, pinning him against a stack of straw bales. (SWNS)
Jonathan Willis, 42, was working on his farm when a forklift truck rolled forward and ripped through his back, pinning him against a stack of straw bales. (SWNS)

His wife Wendy rushed to his aid and dialled 999, prompting an air ambulance to race to the scene in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. 

Once there, crews gave Willis pain relief then they and fire crews used an angle grinder to free the father of five. 

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He was taken to hospital by East Anglian Air Ambulance with the three-foot spike still embedded his body.

That night, a team of surgeons spent nearly seven hours operating to remove the fork, which miraculously missed his vital organs despite being just millimetres away. 

Emergency services used an angle grinder to cut through the spike so Willis could be rushed to hospital. (SWNS)
Emergency services used an angle grinder to cut through the spike so Willis could be rushed to hospital. (SWNS)

Dr Nathan Howes, a consultant at East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: "I’ll never forget the sense of humour he maintained until we reached the operating theatre. It felt like treating a friend.

"I had never been to an incident quite like this, or met a patient quite like Jonathan. I was so impressed by how stoic Jonathan and his wife Wendy were. This definitely helped while we devised a plan with the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Services to support Jonathan, cut the tine and release him safely."

Willis was discharged from hospital two weeks later but it took almost five months for his wounds to heal fully.

The farmer, whose family have since raised £45,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: "What happened to me was just such an unusual accident and I’m just so, so thankful that there were so many expert teams available to help me get through it.

"Otherwise, I’m sure the outcome could have been very different. I will be eternally grateful to everyone involved in saving my life."

Surgeon Emmanuel Huguet (left) described how a team of 30 medics operated on Jonathan Willis (right) to remove the spike. (SWNS)
Surgeon Emmanuel Huguet (left) described how a team of 30 medics operated on Jonathan Willis (right) to remove the spike. (SWNS)

Doctor Emmanuel Huguet, who operated on Willis, said: "It seemed near impossible for someone to have survived such injuries as that area of the abdomen is full of overlapping tightly-packed-together organs and very major blood vessels.

"In order to carry out this highly complex surgery, there were approximately 30 people in the operating theatre at one point, including colleagues who held the spike in place from underneath before we were sure it was safe to remove.

"Mr Willis was simultaneously very unfortunate to have his injury, and also miraculously lucky that the spike didn’t cause any life-threatening damage to the numerous large blood vessels in its path."

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