Gardening accident highlights importance of caution


The case of a Bolton doctor who was severely hurt after falling from a ladder has underlined once again the need for care when dealing with head injuries.

Dr Ian James, 61, hit his head on a pavement whilst pruning a hedge at home on 24 July. Sustaining a fractured skull and damage to his brain, the father of two was admitted to the Royal Bolton Hospital for stabilisation before transfer to the intensive care unit at Salford Royal.

Dr James' wife, Stephanie, 61, told of how he must have overstretched as he cut the hedge. "I feel awful I wasn't there. It was a shock to find him, and it was very serious. He is lucky to be alive."

Mrs James, who had gone out at 10.30am, found her husband unconscious with a severe head injury half-an-hour later. She has appealed for help to find a man and woman in their 20s, who rang for an ambulance and put Dr James in the recovery position. "I honestly think if they hadn't stepped in, he wouldn't have survived," she said. "It has been very traumatic, and harrowing for our sons, but the important thing is he will survive. He will recover, but what's not clear yet is how easily and to what extent."

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