Obanite lucky to be alive after 120ft fall
A FORMER Oban painter and decorator says he has pushed ‘ the reset button on life’ after he fell more than 120 feet from the cliff side at Gallanach.
Steven Hill lay badly injured and hidden from sight for many hours following the incident in late September before passing cyclists finally heard his cries for help and phoned for an ambulance – saving his life.
The 42-year- old had returned to Oban for a short holiday to take stock of his life, and an ancient maple tree on the hillside at Gallanach is one of his favourite spots, so he went there looking to find some peace.
Mr Hill said: ‘ It was about 2.20am on a Sunday morning and I got out of my tent to go for a stretch. I tried to roll a cigarette, I then fell asleep outside the tent.
‘ The next thing I felt [some three hours later] was slipping off the hillside and falling through the air. It was a very strange feeling. Somehow I managed to fall in a foetal position.
‘ The same words were going over and over in my head: ‘ from now on Steven you really need to realise that there is one thing important in life, and that is love. That’s the last thing I remember.
‘ When I regained consciousness many hours later I realised very quickly that I needed help. I couldn’t stand up and I was in excruciating pain.
‘ I tried as hard as I could to try to pull myself nearer the roadside to call for help. The first couple of people who saw me just tried to ignore me. I think they probably thought I was drunk.
‘ I started to believe that I was going to die there by the roadside and no one would ever come to my rescue.
‘ Some time later I called to two cyclists to help and they seemed to just cycle by. But in fact they phoned for an ambulance. I cannot thank them enough. I was very tearful when the ambulance arrived.
‘I went to Lorn and Islands hospital, and later in the day I was transferred to the spinal ward in Glasgow where I spent more than four weeks in recovery.
‘I had broken more than 120 bones in my body, including a broken neck, multiple broken vertebrae, injury to internal organs and a head injury.’
Mr Hill’s condition is improving but for now he has to wear a carbon fibre multi-metallurgical alloy halo with titanium plates alongside various plates and screws holding his body together.
Simon Glen, from Headway Glasgow – a charity working with people with acquired head injuries, said: ‘Quite often someone who has suffered a head injury will appear to be drunk or under the influence of drugs. So we often hear that people have been ignored when they really need some help.
‘I would urge people to not pass by people on the roadside or near hills as the likelihood is that they may have had an injury and urgent medical help is crucial in a patient’s recovery.’
Steven Hill fell more than 120 feet and now has to wear a halo to
keep his body’s many broken bones in place.