Grandad “had skull exposed” after sledging into boulder

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A GRANDFATHER faces reconstructive surgery after he sledged head-first into a boulder.

Fraser McAllister, 61, needed a helicopter rescue after he smashed an eye socket and had part of his skull exposed in the horror accident.

The SNP councillor went sledging with his grandchildren on hills near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.

But his fun day out went horribly wrong after he decided to go faster by heading face-first down a slope last Friday.

The politician, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was miles from the nearest main road and had to be flown to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where he needed dozens of stitches.

 

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The SNP councillor was playing in the snow with his family on hills near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

 

The accident was witnessed by his family, including two grandchildren April, one, and Robin, five months, as well as his wife, Christine, daughter Jane and son-in-law David.

Last month, 25-year-old Lanark primary school teacher Maryam Najafian died of a ‘traumatic brain injury’ following a sledging accident at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow.

Cllr McAllister, currently recovering at home in Musselburgh, East Lothian, said: “We were sledging for an hour, had a snowball fight and built a snowman.

“I was going downhill headfirst and suddenly there was a boulder in front of me.

“I must have hit the only boulder that was there.”

Cllr McAllister said he was going head first to go “faster” on the sledge.

 

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This image was taken just minutes before the accident

 

“There was a spray of blood. When I came up you could see my skull. There was a gash on my forehead.

“My wife called 999. These calls are listened into by air ambulance and the just decided to scramble.”

After arriving at the hospital in Glasgow he received 40 stitches.

“Because it was deep they had to layer the stitched,” he explained.

“They will do another cat scan. One of the bones – there is a shard in the eye socket that is loose. They might have to wire it or remove it.”

 

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Cllr McAllister is currently recovering at home

 

He will be left with a substantial scar but added: “At my age you do collect scars – it’s not such a big deal.

He continued: “You think of sledging as something children do, and if children can do it it can’t be dangerous.

“But according to doctors I spoke to sledging injuries are more common than we think.

“I’m alright now, apart from tired and bruised, but that first hour was the worst because there is always the fear of coma with that type of injury.

Cllr McAllister praised the emergency services and the hospital staff.

“The service I got was first tremendous. I couldn’t speak highly enough of them.

“I think there is real awareness about the dangers of this kind of accident at the moment.”

Teacher Maryam Najafian had been with her fiance Andrew Duncan, 28, when she struck a tree while sledging.

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