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Family sets up fundraising page to help Rutland man John Mitchell who suffered horrific injuries in a work accident in Canada





A globetrotter with a passion for outdoor pursuits has been overwhelmed by the support from family and friends after suffering horrific injuries in a work accident.

John Mitchell was following his dream of living and working in Canada when the horror unfolded.

It was his first day back at work after a family holiday in Australia when John sliced through his hand with a mitre saw. His thumb was severed and four fingers were left hanging off below the knuckles.

Surgeons performed a 17-hour operation on John
Surgeons performed a 17-hour operation on John

Surgeons carried out 17 hours of reconstructive surgery but later had to amputate John’s thumb after the flesh died. He now faces a long wait to find out the long-term impact of the accident.

His family have set up a fundraising page from their home in Rutland to ease the financial burden as John recovers.

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His sister Lianne Mitchell said: “The first we knew of it was when John posted a video on Instagram from the hospital saying he had messed up his life. He was high on pain medication and didn’t know what he was doing.”

John is being treated at a hospital in Vancouver
John is being treated at a hospital in Vancouver

The video didn’t explain why John was in hospital and the family couldn’t get of him so Lianne frantically messaged everyone she could think of in Canada to find out what was going on. One of her brother’s housemates eventually called back to share the news.

John’s other sister Stevie Mitchell, who lives in Australia, said: “His emotions are all over the place. He’s trying to be as positive as he can but that’s difficult at times when your whole world has been shattered.

“Every day the news he receives is so different which makes for an emotional rollercoaster, but the family are super proud of him for how he’s dealing with it

“It’s horrendous for us all being so far away. John has no family in Canada but luckily he has some really good friends who are dropping in to see him and delivering him food.”

John has been living in Canada since before the pandemic
John has been living in Canada since before the pandemic

John, 26, grew up in Rutland and was a member of Oakham Rugby Club. He travelled to Canada on a working visa before the pandemic with the aim of making a life out there. Most recently he was working with a friend on construction jobs.

His mum Debbie Carrie flew to Canada to be with her son after the accident but returned home for work last week. John is now relying on friends to visit him in hospital and lift his spirits.

Supporters have donated £7,835 so far which will help with the cost of John’s treatment, living costs and his family’s travel costs. Debbie, a teacher, hopes to fly back to Canada in a few weeks during the half-term break.

Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-johns-recovery-and-rehabilitation

The family, including John’s father Will, have thanked people for their support and will continue to provide updates on his progress via the fundraising page.

Stevie added: “John really appreciates all the calls and messages which are keeping his spirits as high as possible and keeping his mind busy thinking about things other than his injuries.

“It's imperative John has the opportunity to stay in Canada and receive treatment from the specialists who have already cared for him rather than flying home to England and receiving sub-par care.”



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