A FARMER who was seriously injured when he became trapped in machinery has spoken of his gratitude for the support he has received since the accident.
Dad-of-three Darren Taylor, 44, lost his left leg, the bottom of his right leg and suffered an arm injury when he became caught in agricultural machinery on a farm near Bolton Percy last October.
He was freed from the potato harvester and flown by Yorkshire Air Ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary where he spent three months undergoing treatment.
Now Mr Taylor has returned home to Glebe Farm, at Bolton Percy, near York, where he said he has been overwhelmed by the kindness of his family, friends and neighbours.
He has also received a visit from his sporting hero, former world champion motorcyclist Kevin Schwantz, who made a trip to see him at home after hearing what happened.
Mr Taylor’s rescue is expected to be shown on the BBC programme Helicopter Heroes in the spring.
He said: “I remember all of it. I remember the firemen coming and I heard one of the lads who got me out of the machine.
“I wish it hadn’t happened but the people around me and the people in Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) have been that good the least thing I can do is be strong and appreciate what they have done for me. I’m still alive and there were moments when the situation might have been different.”
Mr Taylor, who has lost his left elbow, is due to have a further operation in February to restore the use of his left hand and hopes to learn to walk again with the aid of prostheses as soon as April.
He said he had been on top of the potato harvester when he slipped and became caught. Specialist engineers from Grimme UK in Dunnington helped to free him by dismantling the machinery.
After a friend contacted Kevin Schwantz, the 1980s and ’90s motorcycling legend phoned Mr Taylor and then went to visit him last weekend, staying for much of the day. Mr Taylor said: “He was very, very down to earth and easy to get on with.
“He said in August we could come Donington Park to seem him as VIPs.”
Among the many gestures of support he has received, Mr Taylor said he had been given hampers, had firewood delivered and been given the proceeds of a sheep-dog trial and from a raffle and auction.
He has thanked his wife Nicky and children Olly, aged nine, Tia, 21, and Danielle, 27, as well as granddaughter Brooke, aged six, as well as wider family, everyone at Grimme UK, the staff at LGI, the fire brigade, the air ambulance and friends and neighbours for their support.