Suffolk man critically ill after suffering injury on rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Robert Sycamore, 57, (front left) on the Grand National ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with great-

Robert Sycamore, 57, (front left) on the Grand National ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with great-nephew Harry Parlour, 13. He suffered a freak injury on the ride that left him paralysed. - Credit: Archant

A man from Ipswich is critically ill in hospital after being left paralysed when he sustained an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Robert Sycamore, 58, from Ipswich, was on the Grand National ride with his great nephew, Harry Cole, last Friday afternoon when his neck broke, leaving him paralysed and unable to get out of the train. Firefighters were called to cut him free before he was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Darren Parlour, Mr Sycamore’s nephew and Harry’s father, said: “My son was with him and he’s come back screaming. Rob’s a big bloke and he was down in the footwell of the carriage.

“His ear was on his shoulder and he was totally blue and black. His neck snapped – the muscles collapsed and he’s just melted into the seat.

“I climbed in with Rob and was holding his head so it didn’t move. The emergency services were unbelievable – how he stayed alive, I don’t know.”

Mr Sycamore is currently at Royal Preston Hospital, where he is undergoing further surgery, and is currently relying on a life support machine.

It is thought that Mr Sycamore suffers from spondylitis, inflammation of the vertebrae in the back, although emergency services were unable to confirm whether this was the cause of the accident.

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A spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said: “There was an incident on the Grand National in which Richard Sycamore required emergency treatment from the emergency services.

“We do wish Mr Sycamore the earliest recovery and we are in contact with his family.

“Our enquiries have not revealed any faults or problems with the ride.”