April 27th 2012 9:36 pm
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By Richard Hartley-parkinson
PUBLISHED: 09:32 EST, 23 April 2012
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2133961/Real-life- Lassie-comes-rescue-boy-11-impaled-metal-fence.html#ixzz1tJ2 UQtTP
A boy impaled on a metal fence was saved after a real-life Lassie drew his owner's attention to the child's plight.
Jack Humphrey, 11, became impaled on the 8ft fence by his wrist when he fell while climbing a nearby tree. In shock, he tried to jump down from the fence, tearing his arm to the bone from elbow to wrist.
Spike, who was being walked by James Harrigan on land between North Ormesby and Longlands Road, in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, ran off in the direction of the injured boy.
The barking dog alerted his owner to Jack's distress and Mr Harrigan, 39, held the child in the air for 40 minutes until the emergency services arrived.
Fire crews then cut down the fence, which was lodged in Jack's wrist next to a major artery.
Mr Harrigan, who lives close to Jack in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, but didn't know him before the accident, said: 'Spike just shot off right to where the boys were. He was like Lassie.
'I followed him and when I got there, there was a boy on the fence saying he was stuck. He was stuck on three metal spikes at the top of the fence and he tried to jump off the fence before I could get to him, but tore his arm badly. He was still stuck there.
'I called the ambulance, fire and police and I held him up with my shoulder under his bottom. I lifted him right up so he didn't tear his arm any more. He was just so calm and brave. I tried to get him to talk about cars and things.
'I sent his friends to take the dog back and to get Jack's mum and dad and then the emergency services started trying to cut the fence. They tied me to the fence so I could keep hold of him while they got him down.
'I managed to hold him up there for 40 minutes, but then I collapsed as I couldn't hold him any more and one of the firemen took over.'
The Great North Air Ambulance landed at the scene and administered morphine to the injured boy. The spike was left in Jack's arm to stem any major bleeding until he was placed on a stretcher, when it fell out.
He was airlifted to The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough for treatment after the incident yesterday afternoon.
Last night, Jack's mother, Anne Marie Stephenson said: 'I just can't thank James enough. To me what he did was dedication. He is a real hero.'
The boy's step-grandfather, Chris Jones, of Carlin How, near Saltburn, east Cleveland, said Jack was due to have an operation today, when doctors would assess the damage.
He said: 'James Harrigan is a hero, an angel. He was just passing by and didn't have to do what he did, but he was amazing. I really believe Jack would have lost his arm if it wasn't for James. He could have lost his life if the spike had severed his artery.'
He said Jack might have ongoing problems and need further operations as there was severe damage to tendons in his arm.
But he said: 'I have to say Jack is very brave. He was sitting up in hospital laughing about it, although he did have a moment when the shock hit him. I think he has been lucky as the arm is not broken and he hasn't lost the use of it. But that is thanks to James.'
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance, which attended the scene, said Jack was given strong painkillers and a tourniquet was applied to his arm to stop the bleeding.
He said: 'The job showed how well ambulance, fire, police and ourselves all work together, but also showed how a passer-by can make a huge difference in the time of need.
'He was a massive help to us, and kept the patient's spirits up. The serious injury would have been much worse without him. A true local hero.'
Mr Harrigan visited Jack in hospital last night and the family took the chance to thank him personally. He said: 'I just can't get it out of my head. He was such a brave lad.
'And Spike did well too. He took me straight there. He chews everything in the house and isn't a very well behaved dog, but he really came into his own this time.'
Leave A Comment | 4 people already have
Good job by all involved!
Thanks evfur so much, Spike and James!
I sure hope Jack heals well!
What a heart warming news article to start my day with. Let's hope the doctors are successful on repairing any damage to Jack's arm. Great job Spike and James!
Hello MrJackFreckles and Coco Rose! Thank you fur the diary barks!