Newfoundland and LabradorNewfoundland and Labrador news
Updated: Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:50:36 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Man clings to life after 2nd serious accident



Man clings to life after 2nd serious accident

An Old Perlican man who lost both of his hands in an electrical accident nearly 40 years ago has been involved in yet another devastating incident.

Andrew Pottle, 72, is on life support at the Heath Sciences Centre in St. John's after he accidentally caught himself on fire.

His sister-in-law Debbie Pottle said his family doesn't know exactly how it happened, but he was outside trying to burn wire in a barrel to recycle it.

"His shirt must have caught fire, and all we know is he kept running [toward] his wife shouting, 'Fire! Fire!' All she [saw] was a ball of fire coming in the road," Pottle said.

"He must have rolled in a ditch or something. In the meantime, he caught the bush adjacent to the property afire. He ran in, his wife got the water hose and doused [him and] got the fire out."

Pottle said that's when firefighters and paramedics were called in.

Pottle was first brought to the Dr. A.A. Wilkinson Memorial Health Centre in Old Perlican, but was later transferred to the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's.

Debbie Pottle said he sustained third-degree burns to 45 per cent of his body, including his chest, back, neck, and face.

"He's in isolation, he's on life support. And since then, other complications have set in," she said.

"The doctors are doing everything they can in their power to comfort him ... but it's all left in God's hands."

First accident

Andrew Pottle's first brush with death occurred 38 years ago while he was living in a trailer in Old Perlican.

A truck lost its brakes as it was coming down a road, hitting Pottle's trailer.

After making sure his family was alright, he went outside to move the used cars that he was selling, but was unaware that a live wire was touching one of the cars.

"When he put his hand on the handle of the door of the car, 9,000 volts went through his body," Debbie Pottle said.

Both of his hands had to be amputated, and he was later assessed for artificial limbs.

He has since been using hooks in place of his hands.

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