WARNING: The following article contains images some may find distressing
A teenager has warned of the dangers of trespassing on scrapyards after she was crushed by a two-tonne H-beam on a building site.
Taylor Knight, 17, was left trapped with her legs crushed on the site in the Granton area of Edinburgh after wandering into the restricted land with friends.
Taylor suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the incident and even feared she may not survive as she waited for emergency services to arrive at the scene.
The teen, from Oxgangs in Edinburgh, smashed her femurs in four different places on both legs, an open fracture on her left leg, broken and fractured ankles, a fractured pelvis and a damaged sciatic nerve on her right leg.
She is still recovering after spending three months in hospital, and has issued a warning of the dangers to anyone thinking of trespassing on building sites.
In the lead up to the accident, which occurred on June 28 at Western Harbour Road near Newhaven, Taylor along with two friends decided to go into the scrapyard.
Around 6.40pm, Taylor walked over to the H-beam which she pushed with the help of one friend. She then proceeded to pull it towards herself.
The ten quickly realised it was about to fall and shouted to her friends to move out of the way before feeling the H-bean hit her legs.
She fell to the ground and began screaming for help, however her friends were unable to lift the H-beam off her due to its weight.
Luckily a friend had a phone and was about to call emergency services who arrived on the scene around 7.25pm.
Taylor told STV News: “My friends were both trying their best to distract me until the emergency services arrived, I kept looking down to what I could see of my legs and thinking ‘why did I do that, why didn’t I move?’
“One of my friends was crying and another was trying his best to keep me calm.”
She added: “When the accident first happened, it felt like the H-beam had torn through my legs, because of the way my legs were positioned and because they had started to go numb.
“To me it felt like my legs were embedded into the ground but it’s because they were broken, the longer it took for the emergency services to arrive the more numb my legs went.
“By the time they had arrived I couldn’t feel my legs at all, they had gone completely numb.
“The initial pain was horrible, it felt like someone was taking a chainsaw to my thighs, I had never felt pain like the pain I experienced when I was crushed.”
Taylor was rushed to hospital where she underwent major, seven-hour surgery to her legs.
She remained in hospital for three months while she learned to walk again.
On July 14 she was transferred from the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh to Astley Ainslie Hospital in Morningside where she was told it would be October before she would be able to walk again.
However, she had already managed to take 12 steps with an Encore machine and was later given a Gutter Frame which allowed her to eventually take 120 steps in one day.
She worked with the physio team who eventually moved her to crutches which, Taylor says, was the most difficult part of the process to get used to.
She said: “In both hospitals the nurses and staff were amazing, they were all so supportive and friendly. Whilst I was in the Astley Ainslie hospital I had a roommate called Lauren, she was an amputee and from the day I was transferred there she helped me to have the best time in the hospital, she was so encouraging and inspiring, I was upset when she went home but I was glad to see how much she had progressed throughout my stay in the hospital.”
Taylor’s condition is now improving and she still uses crutches to help her walk. She is unable to fully straighten her leg.
She said: “When I’m walking I can only use one leg, unfortunately, a few days ago I fell from standing height, I hurt my ankle and my knee but it’s not anything serious.”
Taylor has ambitions to get her mobility fully back and hopefully take her younger sister Amie-Lee, who plays for the youth team, to a Hearts football game.
She told STV News: “My message to anyone thinking about going into a scrapyard is to be extremely careful, you never know when you’re entering a potentially dangerous situation, you never know when something is going to go wrong.”