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


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

Dale Whitehurst died unintentionally after jumping a seven-foot security fence when he got lost on his way home.


Dale Whitehurst spent five days hanging upside down while impaled on the fence
He lost both his legs after the terrible accident but is lucky to be alive


He lost both his legs after the terrible accident but is lucky to be alive

The 44-year-old thought his ‘numbers were up’ during his 112-hour ordeal as he clung to consciousness in excruciating pain.

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

But to shave minutes off his ride, Dale had to dangerously scale a giant metal safety fence.

As he scaled the barrier, he slipped horribly, causing two of the serrated spikes to sink into both of his ankles.

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Dale told the shimmer“As I was sliding my jeans ended up around my ankles and cut off blood flow to my feet and I smashed my head knocking me out.

“When I woke up I was impaled upside down and couldn’t feel my legs. I could see my cell phone but it was out of reach.

“I tried to free myself, but the pain was unreal and my jeans tightened tighter around my ankles.”

He was left hanging upside down and couldn’t even entice passers-by to help him, as the area was obscured by trees.

The 44-year-old said he ‘screamed for help’ when he heard people passing by, but no one came to his aid.

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

But as the dreaded darkness came, he was freezing and in desperate need of food and water.

He managed to get hold of an empty Coke can, from which he urinated and drank to stay hydrated.

Dale explained: “The first day was agony, I was conscious and unconscious.

“The second day I couldn’t really feel them. And I tried to get up and my hands were all cut into ribbons trying to get up.

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

I realized that I was still trapped and dying. I thought my number was up.

Dale Whitehurst

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

He said: “I saw the woman sitting on the bed and asked her for a glass of water and she was ignoring me.

“I was getting more and more frustrated and my hands were scraping the floor, then I realized it wasn’t carpet, I’m still here.

“Then I realized I was still trapped and dying. I thought my number was up.”

Dale’s ex-partner had reported him missing to the police, sparking a huge manhunt with photos of him being distributed across town.

On the fifth day, he again heard people passing by and “screamed as loud as he could” – which luckily saved his life.

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


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

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

Doctors warned him they were just “dead flesh full of sepsis, which was killing me” – and he admitted he thought he was “just letting me die”.

“The doctor was standing in front of me saying he was going to cut my legs off and I was arguing with him and then I passed out,” he said.

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

“I had oxygen trapped in every organ and they had never encountered a person with these injuries before,” Dale said.

“All the doctors said it was like a miracle.


“I even had one of the doctors come over and get me to sign something to get access to my x-ray images because they’ve never come across a case like this,” he added.

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

Dale compared his horrific 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 stabbed and I was upside down. I would gladly give my left arm if I could get my legs back.

“I remember waking up and seeing my feet swollen black like a balloon full of blood and my head was twice as big – I was like a papier-mâché head.

“I had all the flies around my feet because it was like rotting flesh, just big blood balloons.

“One of the nurses from the intensive care unit came 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 worse of the two – was amputated within the first 24 hours just below the knee, before his right leg was removed less than a week later.

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

But Dale has now learned to walk with prosthetic legs as he adjusts to life after his horrific accident.


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