I was impaled on a metal fence for FIVE DAYS… I survived but lost both of my legs

A MAN who was impaled on a metal fence for FIVE DAYS miraculously managed to survive – but lost both of his legs.

Dale Whitehurst unwittingly diced with death after hopping a seven-foot security fence when he got lost on his way home.

The 44-year-old thought his "number was up" during his 112 hour ordeal as he clung to consciousness in excruciating pain.

He had taken a wrong turn as he headed home near Wolstanton Retail Park in Stoke-on-Trent last June and decided to take a shortcut.

But to shave a few minutes off of his journey, Dale had to dangerously scale a giant metal palisade security fence.

As he climbed over the barrier, he horrifically slipped – causing two of the jagged spikes to ram through both of his ankles.

Dale told the Mirror: "As I slipped my jeans ended up around my ankles and cut the blood flow off to my feet and I smashed my head, which knocked me out.

"When I woke I was upside down impaled and could not feel my legs. I could see my mobile but it was out of reach.

"I tried to free myself but the pain was unreal and my jeans just twisted tighter around my ankles."

He was left suspended upside down and couldn't even attract passersby to help him, as the area was obscured by trees.

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The 44-year-old said he "screamed for help" when he heard people walking by, but nobody came to his rescue.

Dale was instead left dangling upside down in around 22C heat, battling through terrifying hallucinations.

But as the dreaded dark rolled in, he was freezing cold and in desperate need of food and water.

He was somehow able to get hold of an empty Coke can, which he urinated in and drank to keep him hydrated.

Dale explained: "The first day it was agony, I was in and out of consciousness.

"The second day I couldn’t really feel them. And I tried pulling myself up and my hands were all cut to ribbons from trying to pull myself up.

"I just couldn’t, every time I tried the pain just knocked me out again."

I realised I was still trapped and dying. I thought my number was up.

He recalled how on the third day, the hallucinations continued to torment him while he remained trapped.

He said: "I saw the missus sitting on the bed, and I asked her for a drink of water and she was ignoring me.

"I was getting more and more frustrated and my hands were scraping the soil and then I realised this isn’t carpet, I’m still there.

"Then I realised I was still trapped and dying. I thought my number was up."

Dale's now ex-partner had reported him missing to police, sparking a huge manhunt with pictures of him distributed around the town.

On day five he heard people walking past again and "screamed as loud as I could" – which thankfully saved his life.

The 44-year-old added: "All of a sudden three lads appeared and one ran to get help, and one ran to get me water and one stayed with me."


Emergency services raced to the scene, with firefighters having to cut down nearby trees to free him before he passed out.

Dale then woke up in the Royal Stoke Hospital where he was devastatingly told by doctors both of his legs needed to be amputated.

Medics warned him they were just "dead flesh and full of sepsis, which was killing me" – and he admitted he thought "just let me die".

"The doctor was standing over me saying he’s going to cut my legs off and I was arguing with him, and then I passed out," he said.

His mum later said doctors had told her he would not survive the night when he was first admitted.

"I had oxygen trapped inside every organ and they had never come across a person with these injuries before," Dale said.

"All the doctors said it’s like a miracle.


"I even had one of the doctors come in to get me to sign something to get access to my X-ray pictures because they’ve never come across a case like it," he added.

"I survived five days hanging upside down, no food, no water and as far as I know I am the only person in the world to have survived something like this for that amount of time."

Dale compared his ghastly ordeal to that of trapped canyoneer Aron Ralston, whose story is detailed in the film 127 Hours.

He said: "He only had one hand crushed, I had both legs speared and was upside down. I would gladly give my left arm if I could have my legs back.

"I remember waking up and seeing my feet inflated black like a balloon full of blood and my head was twice the size – I was like papier mache head.

"I had all flies going around my feet because it was just like rotting flesh, just big balloons of blood.

"One of the nurses in the critical care unit came across and sprayed my feet, because they couldn’t get rid of the flies, they were all buzzing around my feet."

Dale's left leg – the worst of the two – was amputated within the first 24 hours to just below the knee, before his right leg was removed less than a week later.

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He had to get used to life in a wheelchair after being plagued by further infections, with his wounds not healing until around Christmas.

But the 44-year-old has now been learning to walk with prosthetic legs as he adjusts to life after his gruesome accident.

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