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Bowthorpe worker crushed under roller thanks N&N surgeons

PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 April 2011 | UPDATED: 07:26 04 April 2011

Gary Vicary in hospital after being crushed under a road roller in an accident at the roadworks on the A11 near the Ketteringham crossroads.
Picture: Denise Bradley

Gary Vicary in hospital after being crushed under a road roller in an accident at the roadworks on the A11 near the Ketteringham crossroads. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant © 2011

A Norwich worker who was crushed under a four-tonne road roller has told how doctors at the city’s hospital laboured for 11 hours to save his leg.

Gary Vicary, 40, from Bowthorpe, was left with a badly broken leg after the roller tipped over while he was driving it along the A11 last month.

His leg also lost a massive chunk of flesh, but following a complicated 11-hour operation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to graft a skin flap taken from his back onto where his calf muscle used to be, the dad-of-two is hoping this week to leave the Coltishall Ward at the N&N and go into a rehabilitation unit.

Mr Vicary still has to undergo another operation in May on the broken bones in his leg, but says he is in awe at what surgeons have been able to do with skin grafts so far.

He said: “They removed half of my muscle from underneath my arm on my back and transferred it to where my calf muscle used to be, otherwise I could have lost my leg because there was a big gaping hole.

“I have found it very, very impressive and would just like to thank all the staff at the hospital for everything they have done for me.”

The self-employed ground worker, who has been in the business 17 years, was driving a road roller in preparation for tarmac to be laid on the A11 near Ketteringham, where a new junction is being built.

He said it was a “pure accident” that as he was reversing the roller a bank gave way and the machine fell and tipped on to him.

“Looking at what’s left of the work trousers I was wearing you can see where bones came through the fabric and how much blood there was.”

Doctors were unable to insert steel rods into his leg because it was so badly damaged. Instead they put a metal brace on.

Mr Vicary said: “I will need to come back in the middle of May so they can sort out my broken bones, but they needed to do the skin graft first.

“My doctor told me that he thinks his Christmas present to me will be taking the metal brace off my leg.”

Mr Vicary is also keen to meet and personally thank the female paramedic who, after his colleague James Wyatt, was the next help to arrive at the scene of the accident.

He said: “I’d like to find out who that paramedic was and give her a big bunch of flowers because she was brilliant and really helped to save me.”

Would you like to thank the health professionals who saved your life? Contact health reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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