Cumbria Crack

Girder fall leaves Eden builder with skull-exposing gash

Mike Tutin – stitches

[A] BUILDER was left with a skull-exposing gash after a metal girder fell onto his head.

Mike Tutin from Kirkoswald near Penrith has praised the work of the air ambulance for coming to his rescue after the incident, which happened while he was working inside a kitchen in May last year.

The 43-year-old said: “I was just walking underneath and one of the lads shouted because it had been knocked and slipped off the wall. I sort of ducked and got a glancing blow from the girder across the side of the head.”

Mr Tutin’s scalp was split open from above his eye. The wound stretched approximately six to eight inches across the top of his head.

He said: “I spoke to dispatchers at the North West Ambulance Service myself on the phone and they said they were sending a helicopter because it was a rural area.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) paramedic and doctor team flew to the scene, at Lazonby, and assessed and treated Mr Tutin’s head injury. The nature of the gash meant the team could inspect his skull and could see that it showed no obvious sign of fracture. He was then airlifted to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

That prognosis proved to be correct, and although it took three and a half hours to stitch and staple up Mr Tutin’s scalp, he managed to return to work just over two weeks later.

Since the incident Mr Tutin’s nieces Isabella and Gracie Nattrass have hosted a coffee morning to raise money for GNAAS and another charity, and they recently visited the GNAAS base at Langwathby with their uncle to hand over £500.40 to the air medics.

Speaking at the base, Mr Tutin said: “GNAAS are absolutely brilliant. The service of getting a helicopter there that quick in rural areas makes a big difference.”

Phil Lambert, Andy Dalton, Isabella Nattrass, Gracie Nattrass, Mike Tutin and Marcus Johnson

Andy Dalton, GNAAS paramedic, said: “This was a nasty injury but one which given the circumstances could quite easily have been a lot worse.

“We were only able to respond that day because the public continue to support us through their donations, so we are chuffed that Mike’s family have got behind us and made a generous contribution. We’d like to thank Isabella and Gracie for their efforts.”

Last year GNAAS responded to over 900 call-outs and needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit or call 01768-899150.

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