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Man who lost leg in motorbike crash to climb Everest to thank Perth-based paramedics who saved his life

Lee Chapman lost his leg in 2017 following complications after a 2016 motorcycle crash.
Lee Chapman lost his leg in 2017 following complications after a 2016 motorcycle crash.

A man who lost his leg one year after a horrific motorcycle crash will climb Mount Everest to thank the Perth-based paramedics who saved his life.

Lee Chapman was riding his motorbike near Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire in April 2016 when the collision happened.

The 34-year-old was “losing a lot of blood” when the Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) helicopter arrived at the scene.

Mr Chapman said: “Without the aid and assistance of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance I’m not sure I would be alive today.

“When they found me, I had lost a lot of blood and they were able to get me to hospital within 20 minutes.”

Mr Chapman subsequently began the painstaking rehabilitation process, undergoing rigorous physiotherapy while walking with a stick for the next year.

However he suffered a fresh setback in March 2017 when a life-threatening infection set in due to complications with the steel in his leg.

Attempts were made to save the limb but doctors ultimately decided the only option was to amputate.

The Pitmedden man has since been on the road to recovery, saying that being in “a life-or-death situation” made him “want to do something worthwhile with his life”.

He is now preparing to defy his condition by trekking more than 80 miles to Everest’s base camp on behalf of SCAA next month.

Mr Chapman is hoping to raise around £2,500, the average cost of an air ambulance rescue.

Though it is regarded as one of the toughest treks in the world, Mr Chapman said he is confident about his chances.

He said: “I think my biggest challenges will be dealing with the lack of oxygen and the care of my leg.

“While hiking, the prosthetic will rub and cut my leg if I don’t prepare properly and take care of it.”

The operations manager for Keenan Recycling has been hillwalking after work every day to practise.

He will undertake the arduous 14-day trek with the help of a Sherpa and a guide, who will help carry vital equipment.

SCAA is raising money to base a new helicopter in Aberdeen, in addition to the one it operates from Perth Airport.

The new machine is expected to start saving lives from its base at Dyce next month.

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