Former Dunmow man may lose part of lung after being trampled in world-famous bull run
PUBLISHED: 10:57 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:57 17 July 2014
A former Helena Romanes School student, trampled in Spain's world-famous bull run, may need part of his lung removed after doctors found his condition worse than first thought.
Tom Hadfield was left with four broken ribs and a punctured lung when he was crushed in the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, last Tuesday.
The 23-year-old, who has family in the Dunmow area, was taken to a hospital in the city after he started vomiting blood in the street.
Speaking to the Broadcast from his hospital bed in Spain, Tom re-lived the moment he realised his life was in danger.
“I just remember running – I think I thought I was farther away from the bulls than I was,” he said.
“One of the biggest, angriest bull’s ran past me on my left and I didn’t even know the others were there.
“As I turned around to see where I was, the rest of them trampled me. It all happened so quickly.
“I got up and started running again because I knew I’d be in harm’s way lying in the street.
“Then I started to get dizzy and keeled over in the street. I remember vomiting blood and a large crowd surrounded me. Then I passed out and woke up in the ambulance.”
Tom, who grew up in Dunmow but now lives in Nottingham, admitted he was “lucky to be alive”.
He revealed doctors fear a section of his right lung may have to be removed, although he is hoping that will not be necessary.
“It was pretty scary. I thought I was paralysed,” Tom said. “It’s a miracle the bulls didn’t crush my skull or break my back.”
The Nottingham Trent University graduate travelled to Spain last Monday to take part in the bull run, which has claimed the lives of 15 people since records began in 1910, before heading to a music festival on the outskirts of Bilbao.
Tom, who has been told he may be in hospital for another two weeks, was taking part in the historic event for the second time.
“When I did it last year it was probably the best thing I have ever done in my life,” he said.
“I can remember the feeling when I finished – I had never felt so alive. I think it is because you get so close to death. There is nowhere in the world where you can take your own life in your hands so publicly.
“Hemingway [who made the run famous with his book The Sun Also Rises] was a bit of a reveller, a risk-taker and he said when he went off to war ‘When you are young you are immortal, death is something that happens to other people’.
“I guess that’s how I saw things.”
Tom, who works for a record label in Nottingham, said his outlook on life had changed following his ordeal but did not rule out taking part in the bull run again.
“People keep asking if I wish I could turn back time, but I don’t,” he said. “Everything in life happens for a reason and I think I will learn from this.
“I feel my perspective on life has changed – in this past week I feel I have grown up a lot.”