This is David Holley, a guy that is very lucky to be alive...twice! When I met Dave had just had his ear cut off and then sewn back on as part of an operation to replace his ear drum which had been destroyed in an explosion on Guy Fawkes night 5 months earlier..
November the 5th 2010 around 10.30 Lewes;
David was part of the pyrotechnics crew and was setting the fireworks off when a firework blew up in its tube, in turn setting off between 16 and 20 other fireworks on the floor. One of the fireworks hit him like a missile in the back, immediately fracturing 4 ribs and then exploding leaving him knocked to the floor. Now in flames he picked himself up and started running only to pass out shortly after..
(Above: Dave shows me the back of his arm which received a lot of heat and gunpowder marks left by the firework which hit him in the back and also shows me the jacket he was wearing on the night which is now completely obliterated. It looks like a bomb went off on him which is pretty much exactly what happened.)
After being unconscious in the field for 30 minutes Dave was then taken to A+E. His left lung had collapsed due to the explosion and 2 litres of blood had to be drained from it. Surgeons then had to wait for his body to warm up as he was still too cold to operate on at this time. Dave's parents were told that it would only be down to luck if he was to survive the night due to his injuries. After being operated on he was induced into a coma for 36 hours, waking up two days later on a respirator with only one lung functioning. The following 6 days were spent between intensive care and high dependancy units before spending another night on a cardiac ward and finally being released with 6 weeks off work. He left hospital with only one and a third of his lungs working and spent the first 2 or 3 days out of hospital coughing up dried blood from his damaged lung..
Daves chest had to be cut open to be operated on. His breast plate cut in half with a circular saw and prized apart to reveal his lungs, the surgeon compared his damaged lung to 'mash' and described his injuries as 'war like'. You can clearly see the brutal scar leading down the centre of his chest through has tattoo which reads 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'.
His latest scar joins at the bottom almost exactly where a scar which stretches from the middle of his stomach upwards is left from a near fatal car accident when he was much younger. The guy had a smile on his face pretty much the entire time we spent together whilst he was telling me these crazy stories! I guess if I ever had an opportunity to laugh in the face of death I'd take it in an instant aswell...Seize the day!