Farmer woken from a coma by news of becoming a Grandfather


A farmer left fighting for life after falling from a roof awoke from a two-week coma – after his wife whispered in his ear that he had become a grandfather.

David Russell, 60, underwent a five-hour operation to remove a blood clot from his brain after falling 12ft onto concrete while replacing guttering on a barn.

His wife Helen, 57, was warned that her husband would probably wake up with serious brain damage.

But when their first grandchild Edie was born two weeks later she whispered in his ear: ”Come on granddad you have got to wake up now – you have got to do that”.

David then started to come out of the coma and gave his wife a cheeky wink – and was well enough to meet his granddaughter three weeks later.

Delighted wife Helen said: ”The doctors didn’t even think that he would survive the operation, which was absolutely horrific news to be given.

”He did survive but when he failed to come out of an induced coma they said the best case scenario was that he would be brain damaged and severely impaired.

”But then Edie was born and I went into the hospital and said: ‘Come on granddad you have got to wake up now – you have got to do that’.

”Soon after that he started to come out of the coma and opened his eyes and winked at me. He came round when I told him we were grandparents for the first time.

”He’s incredibly proud and thrilled to be a grandfather.  The whole family was elated – words don’t even begin to describe how devastated we were after the accident.”

Father-of-three David was repairing a fire-damaged barn from a tractor platform at his farm in Didmarton, Glos., on December 6 last year when he fell head-first onto a concrete floor.

He was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where specialist surgeons operated for five hours to remove a blood clot from his brain.

David was placed into an induced coma but when doctors tried to bring him out of it one week later he did not wake up.

His granddaughter Edie was born to son Edward, 30, and wife Ellie, from London, on December 20 – making David a grandfather for the first time.

Helen visited the hospital the following day to reveal the good news and when she whispered in his ear he woke up for the first time in 15 days.

David, who is expected to make a full recovery, said: ”The doctors told my wife that there was a risk that although I was going to survive I may be severely brain damaged.

”The next day Helen told me that we had become grandparents and I apparently opened my eyes and blinked and winked, but I don’t remember it.

”My wife has written a diary of the time I was in a coma which brought tears to my eyes.  I felt very moved reading it and lucky to be alive.

”It was just fantastic to meet Edie and I have got her to thank for saving my life.  When she is older I will tell her that she helped bring me out of a coma.

”My concern now is just on getting better.”

He met his granddaughter Edie on January 16 when Edward and Ellie visited him while he was undergoing rehabilitation at Gloucester Royal Hospital.

David, who celebrated his 60th birthday whilst in hospital, and Helen have two other children Alistair, 25, and Pippa, 31.


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