Teesside scaffold that became ‘human fireball’ after 11,000 volt shock was ‘dead’ for minutes

A Teesside man who turned into a “human fireball” when he was electrocuted has opened up about his brush with death.

Darren Harris was exploring the city and collecting scrap metal from an abandoned steel mill in Wolverhampton when he put his hand on a copper bar and was electrocuted by an 11,000-volt shock. When he came across a switchboard and an electrical grid, the 29-year-old assumed the power was off while the building was preparing for demolition, reports The Mirror.

Teesside’s scaffolding opened up about how his body was “catapulted across the room” and how he was left dead on the floor for several minutes. Miraculously, Darren regained consciousness and is now remembering the moment he saw his entire body on fire and his face “hanging like a flap”.

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18 months after the incident, Darren was dubbed a medical miracle, surviving third-degree burns to nearly half of his body that left exposed bone in both of his arms.

Darren said: “I put my hand on the bar and my body was catapulted across the room. My life flashed before my eyes and I was dead for a few minutes. I don’t know what brought me back but I remember waking up and my whole body was on fire, I was a human fireball.

The scaffold placed its hand on a live copper bar and was instantly "catapulted" across the room by the voltage
The scaffold placed its hand on a live copper bar and was instantly “catapulted” across the room by the tension.

“I ran for my life and somehow managed to climb a 10 foot fence not knowing the damage that had already been done to my body. My forearms were completely debrided, I could see right down to the bone. My face was hanging like a flap and my windpipe was exposed.

“I was standing on the side of the road for a few minutes when an ambulance turned the corner. I threw myself in front of it and the next thing I remember waking up 27 days later.”

When Darren regained consciousness, he was able to flag down an ambulance that happened to be passing by. He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he was placed in an induced coma while doctors battled his injuries, including multiple organ failure and sepsis.

Darren was dubbed a medical miracle by doctors
Darren was dubbed a medical miracle by doctors

Specialists performed 23 surgeries, including skin grafts, a craniotomy to relieve pressure on the brain and a pioneering surgery to apply artificial skin, known as a Biodegradable Timer Matrix, to his burns.

Darren said surgeons told him they had “never seen anything like it” in their 30-year careers. He said: “The doctors and nurses couldn’t believe, that I survived the initial injury, never mind the fact that I flagged down a passing ambulance and then survived the grueling surgeries. They told me I shouldn’t be here, I’m just not lucky to be alive, I’m one in a million.”

As a result of his burns, Darren was left without a nose or ears, and he also lost mobility in both of his hands, leaving him unable to work. Disfigured by his injuries, Darren struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, but says he realized he had been given a “second chance”. He has now launched a fundraising page to pay for a pioneering surgery to 3D print a live reconstruction of his ears using his stem cells.

Darren before the horrible incident
Darren before the horrible incident

Darren added: “I went through the worst pain in my entire life, I can’t even describe it, and I was in a terrible state. I struggled to get out and socialize, I’m self-conscious about the way I look and I thought about suicide during my life. my recovery.

“But then I realized that those surgeons didn’t put all that time on me and save my life for me to waste. They gave me a second chance at life and I’m grateful to be here. I want to tell my story. and inspire people and show the them that they can go through the hardest thing of their lives and still come out the other side.”

To donate to Darren’s GoFundMe, click here.


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