Farmer relives horrific harvesting accident

56-year-old Chris Suckling in his tractor

Chris Suckling has relived his farming machine accident ahead of the Suffolk Young Farmer's Tractor Run set to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - Credit: Mary Suckling

A farmer from the Shotley Peninsula has relived a farming machine accident which left him with serious leg injuries ahead of the Suffolk Young Farmer’s Tractor Run this weekend.  

Vintage and modern tractors will roll from Mowness Hall to Bacton and back again in a procession organised by Suffolk Young Farmers as they raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The young farmers club based near Otley, will be raising money for a cause held dear to many members, as rural locations mean farmers often seek the assistance of the air ambulance. 

One person that knows all too well the vital importance of the service is 56-year-old Chris Suckling. 

Mr Suckling was just two weeks shy of his 50th birthday when the unthinkable happened one July day whilst he was out working on the farm.  

He got caught in a potato harvester, crushing his leg and breaking it in six places. He may not have survived if it wasn’t for the air ambulance’s quick response. 

The East Anglian Air Ambulance landed in Chantry, Ipswich

Mr Suckling says the air ambulance saved his life - Credit: East Anglian Air Ambulance

He said: “The potato harvester veered across and hit a trailer. I was then trapped between the two. I couldn’t move and because I was vertical, the blood was just pouring out.  

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“It wasn’t until the fire crew came and cut all the material away, that they could get me out and lay me horizontally.  

“They then had to stop the bleeding and the air ambulance flew me down to Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford which was about 9 minutes from here to there. 

“By road I probably wouldn’t have made it – I pretty much attribute the air ambulance for saving my life and my leg.” 

Mr Suckling’s 20-year-old son Harry, who has some involvement with Suffolk Young Farmers said: “I like driving quad bikes around. If I was to have an accident out in the middle of the field, there’s very little chance a land ambulance would be able to get to me.  

20-year-old Harry Suckling driving a tractor

Chris' son Harry says the air ambulance is a vital service to those in rural industries - Credit: Mary Suckling

“Everyone in Young Farmers have interests that are out in the countryside and sometimes when these things go wrong the air ambulance is your best chance of coming out alive,” he added. 

The Tractor Run is set to take place December 12 at 10am. 

For more information or donate money to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, see here.