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'Thanks mate' -quick thinking chippy strips off to save plasterer's hand in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

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PLASTERER Leroy Oakey feared for his life when he severely cut his wrist with his trowel.

But help was nearby when quick-thinking carpenter Brian Reeves whipped off his shirt and made a tourniquet to compress the wound until paramedics arrived.

Leroy said he owed Brian his hand and possibly his life.

“All I could see was my wrist open and a lot of blood so I thought the worst,” said 44-year-old Leroy from Longlevens.

“I thought I was going to die because I couldn’t believe the amount of blood I was losing. It was like something from a horror film. It was very frightening.”

The accident happened on Wednesday morning while Leroy was doing some work on a friend’s house in Oxstalls Way.

He caught his plastering trowel in the wall, causing him to fall on to it.

The trowel sliced through Leroy’s right wrist and was just millimetres away from cutting a main artery and tendons.

“Usually my instinctive reaction if I fell holding a trowel would be to throw it away from myself because I know how dangerous it is,” said Leroy, who also works for Cotswold BMW in the bodyshop.

“It is a lethal weapon. You have always got to be careful when you have one in your hand because it is so sharp, like a razor blade.”

Bleeding badly, Leroy ran across the road to where Brian was working on a different house. He stayed with Leroy while a colleague phoned for an ambulance.

“I was in the house on my own. I had a first aid box in my van but couldn’t rummage around for it with blood shooting out of my arm,” said Leroy.

“I was very scared and needed help and thought the guys across the road would know what to do as they work in the construction industry. It all happened so quickly.”

Leroy was rushed to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where his wrist was stitched back together.

Fortunately the cut was not as bad as first thought but the doctors told Leroy he was very lucky.

“It was a very dramatic and traumatic experience as I kept thinking I was going to die,” said Leroy.

“I am just so grateful that the two guys were there. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

“I will take them for a pint of beer to thank them.”

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