Dad speaks of horror skydive

Injury trauma: Neil Beesley, who broke his leg during a skydive
Injury trauma: Neil Beesley, who broke his leg during a skydive

A Chorley dad who broke his leg in two places while doing a charity skydive has spoken about the devastating moment he landed and heard the crunch.

Last week, the Guardian revealed how Neil Beesley, 42, from Adlington, took part in the 15,000ft jump as part of a bid to raise money for Adlington Community Nursery.

But the day was overshadowed when Neil broke his tibia and fibula and was hospitalised for three days.

That was four weeks ago, and Neil is still recovering at his home on Westhoughton Road, and has been unable to return to work.

Speaking about it for the first time, he said: “I have always wanted to do a skydive, and then I go and do this! It was my first and everything was fine until the very end.

“Just as I came into land, I didn’t lift my legs high enough and my leg just snapped under the weight of my body.

“I heard the crunch as I hit the floor.”

Neil did the jump along with Sharon Hamilton, who works at the nursery, her daughter Laura Hamilton, and friend Lisa at Grange-over-Sands, near Barrow-in-Furness.

He was watched by wife Tracey and sons Ellis, six, and Finley, two, who attends the nursery.

Neil said: “The instructors give you training and talk through everything before you do it, but I obviously wasn’t listening well enough when they taught us how to land properly.

“It was a tandem, so I was strapped to my instructor and he was absolutely gutted.

“It was my own stupid fault, but he must have felt so bad.

“I was still strapped to him for 45 minutes while we were waiting for the ambulance to come for me. I was lying on him and he was cramping up with that, but everyone there was excellent.”

Neil was taken to Barrow-in-Furness Hospital, while his wife Tracey followed in the ambulance.

He said: “I still had my jumpsuit on when I got to the hospital, so they had to cut me out of that. They said they have had to cut a lot of jumpsuits in their time.

“You couldn’t see the bone sticking out, but my leg was flopped to one side.

“The worst part was when they had to pull it straight before the operation.”

Neil, a welder, now faces another two weeks before he can put any weight on his legs, and even more time before he can return to work in Horwich.

But despite the accident, he says he hasn’t been put off from doing it all again.

He said: “I would like to do it again, if my wife would let me! It was a great experience. It was a cold day until we were going up in the place and then the sun came out.

“We did a freefall for about 30 seconds and it was so quiet as we were going down. You don’t feel like you are falling.

“It was definitely a day to remember, both for good reasons and bad.”

Adlington Community Nursery, in Railway Street, held a series of open events last week.