Simon Orpwood was working on a farm when he was crushed by 600kg haybales.

The 69-year-old from Mindrum, Northumberland, sustained severe limb and hip injuries when the two bales fell directly on top of him.

The incident

Simon was carting straw at Morris Hall Farm, Northumberland  on 30 August 2018 when the 600kg bales fell on top of him.

“I lay on the floor and said I’ll be alright in a minute and then the chaps tried to move me,” said Simon. “Luckily I was with someone and I wasn’t on my own which quite often happens in farming.”

After calling 999, the North East Ambulance Service arrived. They decided they needed the assistance of the critical care team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).



The incident left Simon with a broken ankle and pelvis and his right hip was also out.

GNAAS doctor Seb Bourn said: “Simon was unfortunate enough to have two very heavy straw bales fall on top of him. He had suffered a significant injury, was in a lot of pain and couldn’t be moved. We administered advanced pain relief before airlifting him directly to a major trauma centre for further assessment and treatment.”

Simon was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, where he stayed for a fortnight.


The recovery

Simon’s right hip was put back in place, and he also underwent a four and a half hour operation to put metal in both his pelvis and ankle.

He is still recovering from his injuries but has managed to get back to work on his farm and paid a visit to the GNAAS base at Langwathby to thank Dr Bourn and paramedic Terry Sharpe for their help on the day.

He said: “Meeting Seb and Terry was terrific. I was really determined to come and say thank you very much, because I think the air ambulance is the most wonderful service, particularly where we live in North Northumberland.

“It took 15 to 20 minutes to get from the farm to the RVI. If we’d gone by road it would have been certainly well over an hour and I’m just so grateful for what they did for me.”




Since the incident Simon and his wife Caroline Orpwood have donated £2,500 to GNAAS from their charitable trust.

“We’re very lucky we have a fund so we can support charities and I will do what I can to help GNAAS,” said Simon.

Simon's story

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