Severe burns victim thanks ambulance service for ‘saving his life’

A man who suffered serious burns after “catching fire” has thanked ambulance staff for helping to save his life.

Dean Beggs had his arms and face badly burned after a workplace fire engulfed him in flames in a backdraft explosion in January.

The 22-year-old team leader, of Linwood, Renfrewshire, tried to extinguish the fire in a nearby a muddy puddle as it scorched three layers of clothes off his body.

A colleague dialled 999 and ambulance crews arrived shortly afterwards.

Mr Beggs said: “The crews seemed to arrive all at the same time – I was given oxygen straight away and from the very first moment, I knew I was in good hands.

“The paramedics who attended couldn’t have done any more and made my horrific injury easier to deal with thanks to their care.

“I think they were all wondering how to get me into the ambulance without touching me. It was very, very painful.”

He was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and was in surgery soon after, then spent five days in intensive care and two weeks in the burns unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary before being discharged three weeks after the incident.

Skin grafts were put on both hands and he still visits the burns unit, as well as a psychologist.

Mr Beggs said: “It’s still painful – my skin is tight and simple tasks are difficult. It’s painful all day, every day.

“I don’t sleep at all really – I cannot remember the last time I slept well.

“There’s no escape from it. It’s all still quite raw. I didn’t know if I was going to make it.”

Dean Beggs in hospital after the incident
Dean Beggs in hospital after the incident

Mr Beggs recently contacted Scottish Ambulance Service staff who helped him and had a reunion with three members of ambulance crews who helped to save his life.

They are Suzie Thomson, of the trauma team, technician Craig McLean and paramedic Gaye McLean, both based at Greenock, Inverclyde.

Neil Sinclair, of the trauma team, also assisted him on the day of the fire.

Mr Beggs added: “It was a good end to a really horrific story. Getting to see the team who helped – I suppose you could say – save my life, was quite emotional and I was taken back and was shaking when I first saw them.

“I’m not normally like that – I couldn’t think of the words to describe how grateful I was for their fast response and help.

“It’s overwhelming how quick they got there. I could easily not be here if they weren’t so quick.

“I would just like to say a massive thank you to the Scottish Ambulance Service for their assistance and all the surgeons, nurses and doctors who helped me in my recovery – I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the NHS.”