Woman who chopped her own thumb off volunteers to be LIVES first responder

A LIVES First Responder has told how she wanted to volunteer to help the charity after chopping her own thumb off with an axe.

Sue Lock from South Kyme has felt compelled to volunteer to help others faced with other medical emergencies after the traumatic incident.

Sue Lock. Photo by Steve Smailes Photography EMN-160810-175835001

Sue Lock. Photo by Steve Smailes Photography EMN-160810-175835001

Her story is told in a film released today (Saturday) as part of LIVES Everyday Heroes Week, which is celebrating the 700-plus volunteers who give up their time to save lives across the county.

A video will be released every day that tells a story about these extraordinary volunteers.

Sue explains she was at home cutting logs and kindling in her garden when she slipped and accidentally chopped her hand.

She said: “As I was cutting the wood I heard a strange sound and I thought, ‘Oh I’ve cut my hand.’ I saw the blood spurting, wrapped it up and I ran inside and lay on the settee.”

Sue Lock of South Kyme with her responder's kit bag. Photo by Steve Smailes Photography EMN-160810-180158001

Sue Lock of South Kyme with her responder's kit bag. Photo by Steve Smailes Photography EMN-160810-180158001

Amazingly Sue hadn’t felt or realised she’d chopped off her entire thumb on her left hand, until her brother intervened.

“My brother came in the house and said, ‘Have you dialled 999?’ to my daughter and she said, ‘No, Mum wants me to take her to hospital.’ He said, ‘Get on that phone now while I go and find her thumb’.”

After dialling 999, first on scene was a LIVES first responder, Martin, giving Sue her first experience of the Lincolnshire charity.

She said: “He made sure I was alright and started the initial treatment. I can’t complain about the treatment. It was amazing”

Sadly, medical staff were unable to reattach Sue’s thumb but this has not held her back from continuing her hobbies of gardening and costume making. Importantly though the experience spurred Sue on to volunteer with LIVES so she too can help with medical emergencies.

“I’m a level 2 responder now,” she said. “I go on call as many days a week as I can. I’m here with my uniform on, just in my workroom or in the garden or in the kitchen. As soon as I get the call everything is ready and I go.”

Nikki Silver, LIVES chief executive, says: “Sue’s story shows the breadth of calls our responders are called to. From falls to cardiac arrest and traumatic injuries, our volunteers are there day and night to help their neighbours.

“To want to give back to the community in such a way is nothing short of heroic and we’ve loved celebrating them through Everyday Heroes week.”

Today, LIVES volunteers have been showcasing their skills at St Marks in Lincoln.

To see the film of Sue and other volunteers go to www.lives.org.uk