Brave Nathan talks about injury horror

Nathan Bignall with Cara Cara 'Pedra' at Baytree Owl Centre'Photo:  SG010513-TW
Nathan Bignall with Cara Cara 'Pedra' at Baytree Owl Centre'Photo: SG010513-TW
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A brave teenager returned to an owl centre on Tuesday, just three days after being airlifted from the spot where an horrific accident left him on crutches.

Nathan Bignell (16) was helping out at a bird of prey flying display at Weston on Saturday when his caracara bird was swept up by a gust of wind and landed on a fence.

The teenager scrambled onto a box on an embankment, but fell and was impaled on a metal spike as he tried to grab the bird, called Pedro.

He was found by his mum, Baytree Owl Centre manager Denise Bignell, who said the spike went through the back of his leg almost to his knee.

Nathan also cut his thigh and had 126 stitches when he was taken by air ambulance to a Nottingham hospital.

On Tuesday, Nathan said: “I am all right, actually, just a little bit sore and stiff.”

He was impaled on the fence for about half-an-hour – pinned by the spike – and his dad, David Bignell, was among those helping at the scene and supporting his weight until he was freed by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

“The emergency services were really good,” said Nathan. “The fire brigade got me off straight away. I went in the air ambulance – that was all right because it was a nice view – and I got told lots of jokes just to keep me conscious.”

Nathan was allowed out of hospital the following day, but must return in ten days for his wound to be checked.

He’s hobbling around on crutches at the moment, but aims to go on helping with the flying displays once he is fully recovered.

Pedro flew off following the accident and spent three days in and around Lansen’s Nursery in Holbeach Road, Spalding.

Nursery production manager Paul Chapman contacted the Spalding Guardian and we put him in touch with bird of prey expert Nigel Hancock, who recaptured the bird in about 15 minutes on Monday morning and returned him to Baytree.

Nathan was reunited on Tuesday morning with the bird that sparked the drama.

He said: “It was all right and he came straight to the front of his aviary to say hello.”

nMr Hancock raised the alarm on April 10 after his Harris hawk, called Harriet, escaped from his garden.

Our story on www. and in the Spalding Guardian saw Mr Hancock recovering his bird within three days, thanks to calls from our readers.

Mr Hancock, from Whaplode, said: “A couple of people had seen the article and it came together really nicely.”