Friends and family are rallying to raise funds for long distance lorry driver Danny Hemsley who lost his leg after a freak accident.
Danny was helping a friend move a sofa when he tripped and fell onto a glass table severing an artery in his right leg.
It was thanks to his friend who applied a tourniquet and called an ambulance that Danny lived to tell the tale.
Danny, who is originally from Heathfield, and lived in Uckfield for ten years before moving to Maresfield, said: “I don’t think he had First Aid training. He just seemed to know what to do.”
Danny kept telling himself he must stay awake and remembers being carried into an air ambulance before passing out at the hospital.
Doctors fought for five days after the accident on June 18 to save the leg but then had to amputate.
The aim now is to buy a state-of-the-art prosthetic limb which will enable 38-year-old Danny to carry on his previously active lifestyle, particularly playing football with his football-mad eight-year-old son Charlie.
Danny’s friends are planning fund-raising events, including a football match on August 2 and he has been blown away firstly by the fact that they want to help him, and also by the response to their requests for help. “I am grateful to everyone,” Danny said.
Other fund-raising activities have been organised too. Uckfield Community Technology College, where Danny’s daughters Ellie, 15, and Grace, 12, are students, and Manor Primary School where Charlie is a pupil have both held non-school uniform days to raise money for the appeal.
Pole Fit Personal Training is holding a charity ball in November and will share funds raised between Danny’s appeal and the league of friends at Uckfield Community Hospital.
TR Fastenings is contributing £500.
The football match on August 2 will be held at the AFC Uckfield Town ground behind the Rajdutt Restaurant in Eastbourne Road and all are welcome to attend.
There will be a barbecue, raffle, cash bar, cake stand and lucky dip.
If you would like to help please visit Danny Hemsley’s Fundraising Football Event Facebook page. Also see Danny Hemsley Fundraising football GoFundMe page.
Family friend Naomi Gunn said that Danny’s partner Lindsey Russell is one of her best friends and the couple have been together since they were 18. Now they are all 38.
Naomi said: “He is just one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet. Nothing is too much trouble for him. You could meet him one day and the next if your car was broken down he would fix it.”
She added that Danny had taken the day off work to have a tooth fixed, started out by helping a neighbour start her car, then on the way home from the dentist had a call from his friend asking for help in moving the sofa.
“He took two steps with the sofa and then fell into the table. He had literally been in the house for seconds. All he was doing was what he does all the time, helping other people.”
Naomi said Danny’s friends wanted him to have the best possible prosthetic leg so he could resume his active lifestyle and they were determined to raise the money needed to buy one. She said it could cost up to £75,000, and that was a daunting target, but they should know more after Danny sees a specialist next month.
In the meantime Danny is keeping positive. He is suffering phantom pain in the leg and foot he has lost but has been told that should ease with time.
He had a blip when he wasn’t allowed to take the wheelchair he was using in hospital home and was only allowed crutches but he has a wheelchair now and that makes it possible for him to do more.
He doesn’t know yet whether he will be able to keep his HGV licence but ILS where he works in Heathfield want him back there. Even if he can’t drive they will find him another job. “They have been really good ringing me all the time. They want me to go back.”
Danny is looking forward to the football match because all his friends will be there – he himself has played for Mayfield FC, Ringmer AFC and Uckfield Town in the past – and he’s hoping that one day, with the help of the prosthetic limb everyone wants to buy him he will be able to play football again with his son.