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Scots groom cheated death days before wedding as leg impaled on branch while on walk

A council mechanic was able to dance at his wedding just days after cheating death when he impaled his leg on a branch.

Robert and Jennifer Kirkpatrick, both 33, had gone for a stroll after taking a trip to Balquhidder five days before tying the knot.

But it turned into a nightmare for the Paisley couple when Robert spotted a rope swing across a river and tried to cross the water on a fallen tree.

Robert, who works for Renfrewshire Council, fell on a sharp, five-inch branch which went right into the back of his leg.

A helicopter from Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance had to be scrambled to the scene.

Thankfully, the branch had narrowly missed Robert’s artery and they were able to patch him up.



Robert and Jennifer Kirkpatrick of Paisley at their wedding after he had to be helicoptered to hospital after impaling his leg during a walk.

Incredibly, Jennifer was then able to drive him to hospital.

Robert said: “When it first happened, I was mortified, but I then felt something on my leg.

“There was a lot of blood.

“We called 999 and when I said I was feeling faint, they decided to send the helicopter out.

“I had to drag myself out of the trees and Jennifer had to help me.

“We got up to the main road and managed to stop some passers-by to get some water. I didn’t feel any pain at this point because of the adrenalin.

“The helicopter was there in 20 minutes and the staff were great.

“They said they wanted to fly me to Glasgow but we decided to go by road to Forth Valley Hospital as there might have been another emergency the helicopter would have to go to.”

Once the couple arrived at hospital they faced a lengthy wait for treatment before discovering just how lucky he had been.

“We were there for three and a half/four hours. I started bleeding in the room again,” Robert said. “I was in a lot of pain at that point.

“It could have been a lot worse. It was very close to my artery.”

Jennifer, who is a teacher, and Robert were due to tie the knot on October 15 at the Rosslea Hotel in Helensburgh.

But the accident failed to put a dampener on proceedings with Robert able to dance with his new wife and enjoy the occasion while the couple put out a jar asking for donations to SCAA.

“I had drunk a few beers so the pain wasn’t too bad,” he said. “The next day my leg was twice the size though.

“This might have had a worse ending if it hadn’t been for SCAA. I was very lucky.”

SCAA is Scotland’s only charity air ambulance and runs two helicopters out of Aberdeen and Perth.

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