Horse racing journalist in intensive care after freak accident

7:52am Friday 31st May 2013

The award-winning racing journalist Tom O'Ryan is in intensive care in hospital after a freak accident while cutting grass.

Mr O’Ryan, 58, was hit in the back by a flying fence-post on Wednesday after tape became tangled in cutters attached to a tractor at his home in Brawby near Malton.

He has suffered a broken pelvis, two fractured vertebrae, internal bleeding and a possible broken hip.

His partner Wendy Barry said he was in good spirits in Hull Royal Infirmary but could not remember the accident.

Mr O’Ryan, who writes a weekly column in the Gazette & Herald and also works for other media, is unlikely to undergo surgery until next week due to the fragile nature of his injuries and a key expert being on holiday.

She said: “He was on the tractor cutting grass and got off to to move some tape he did not want to get tangled in the cutters. But by moving it, he managed to do what he tried to avoid. It pulled it taut and pulled the fence-post out of the ground or snapped it, and it hit him in the middle of the back.

“They said he was very lucky he was not facing it, because it could have been a lot worse, and also that it did not hit him in the head.”

Mr O’Ryan managed to alert Ms Barry, who rang 999. An air ambulance flew him to Middlesbrough but could not land due to bad weather, so was re-directed to York Hospital, before being transferred to Hull.

Ms Barry said: “They did a great job at York. They were brilliant. The NHS, when there is a major problems, are brilliant.”

She said Mr O’Ryan was able to move his hands and feet so there was no fear of paralysis. He initially suffered a severe loss of blood pressure but she said tonight that his vital signs were now all positive.

“He is in good spirits but he cannot believe it happened,” she said.


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