THE family of a young fisherman who lost his leg in a freak accident are raising money to help him start a new life when he leaves hospital.
Paul Buchan, from Peterhead, was airlifted to hospital from a fishing vessel four weeks ago after a rope wrapped around his shin and snapped his right leg in two.
The damage was so severe that surgeons were unable to save the 22-year-old’s limb and had to amputate it to the knee.
Within days of the operation, the brave fisherman had to return to theatre because there was not enough tissue or muscle left to heal the wound.
His leg was then cut to his thigh and the father-of-one has been in recovery at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary since the procedure undergoing intense bouts of physiotherapy.
Now his family have launched a fundraising campaign to help him start a new life when he is released from hospital because it is unlikely he will ever work at sea again.
His aunt Margaret McDonald said the young dad would need an electric wheelchair and a ramp built to help him get access to his house.
She said: “Four weeks on, he will be getting home for visits and we need help to make these easier for him.
“As his family, we’re trying to do anything we can to help him.”
The family said the fisherman would not get out of hospital for home visits unless his house was wheelchair friendly and he had a suitable place to stay.
Paul was working on the Banff-registered Fruitful Vine when the accident happened about 50 miles off the coast of Peterhead on the morning of June 13.
As he passed a rope from his fishing boat to another vessel, it wrapped around his leg and twisted it.
He said at the time: “My leg got hauled up.
“I heard a crack – a snap – and I froze.
“I’ve never even broken a bone before, and now the worst possible thing has happened.
“I just have to be thankful I’m still here.”
The vessel’s cook Charlie McDonald quickly rushed to his colleague’s aid and attempted to stem the blood flow.
Meanwhile, skipper John Nichol phoned the coastguard, who sent a rescue helicopter as Paul struggled to stay out of shock and block the pain out.
The young fisherman was winched from the vessel on to a helicopter and flown to ARI, where he was taken straight to surgery.
Paul followed his great-grandfather, his grandfather and his father into the fishing industry, starting a life at sea after leaving school at the age of 16.
He celebrated his son Thomas’ first birthday this week with his partner Jan this week and is expected to remain in hospital recovering from his ordeal for another two months.
His family have launched a fundraising campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/yt7f8v4