THE British surgeon who nearly lost his arm in a water-skiing accident in the Port of Andratx last month, yesterday praised the work of and thanked doctors at Son Dureta hospital in Palma who saved his arm. Now back in the UK recovering from the emergency operation in Palma, 49-year-old Andrew Lyons, a senior oral and facial consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, described the accident, while on holiday staying at a villa on the Mont Port development, “like a scene from Jaws” while being interviewed on BBC Breakfast television. The left side of Lyon's body was severely damaged by the propeller of a speedboat being driven by his wife Francoise.
And Lyons, who very nearly lost his arm, yesterday thanked a group of Balearic University marine biologists who responded quickly to his son's cries for help as they passed in a Zodiac. He also had thanks for the local police and doctor who treated him at the quayside before paramedics could rush him to Son Dureta where doctors carried out a successful emergency operation to save his left arm. It was the group of students returning from a marine field trip who dragged his bleeding body out of the water and rushed him to port.
But, according to Mr and Mrs Lyons, the big hero was their 11-year-old son.
It was his thinking to turn off the boat's engine that saved his father's life as the propeller, which had already run over Lyons once, was coming round to hit him again. Mrs Lyons lost control of the boat after falling and suffering concussion as she was about to pick Lyons out of the water. “I felt a huge blow, like a 10-foot baseball bat,” he told the BBC. “And then I saw my arm floating at a different angle to the rest of my body. “I saw blood, it was like a scene from Jaws.” With his mother lying in the back of the boat, 11-year-old John jumped into the water “but he saw he couldn't really help me but then managed to see another boat coming and flag it down,” Andrew Lyons said. The doctor, who is right handed, said that he is confident about returning to work in about six months although he faces further surgery. “I want my life back and go back to operating so I'll be striving to do that,” he said.