A man drove to a Powys hospital after scooping up his own bowels and wrapping them in a t-shirt after a horrifying accident.

Retired builder, Brendan Clancy, 67, eviscerated himself after falling onto a circular saw – falling onto the nine inch blade of the saw, which cut through his abdomen and through to his bowels.

Brendan had been cutting pallets in his garden on June 9 this year when he tripped and fell.

“At first, I had fallen on the back of the saw, and I thought ‘that is going to hurt’, but then I felt something squidgy and I realised my bowels were coming out. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed as if it would never stop,” said Mr Clancy.

“There was a bucket on the floor but that was dirty, and I thought I couldn’t use that, so I went inside and grabbed a T-shirt and wrapped them up in that. I must have been running on adrenaline, I knew I needed help but knew I couldn’t wait for help to arrive.”

County Times: Brendan visits Dafen, Llanelli base with wife JayneBrendan visits Dafen, Llanelli base with wife Jayne (Image: Wales Air Ambulance)

Unfortunately Brendan’s wife was away and he said he couldn’t call as “my phone was in my pocket where my insides were spilling out.” So remarkably he decided to drive to Ystradgynlais Community Hospital a few miles away.

“I was making sure I was keeping my senses and concentrating on the road while driving. I have a manual car, and all my guts were all over the gear lever side, but it helped to take my mind off it,” said Brendan.


Brendan managed to make it to the hospital leaving staff there shocked.

“There was no blood even though the saw had cut through about four inches of my bowel, but I could see my breakfast,” said Brendan.

“When I got to hospital, two ladies were coming out and said they were just about to close. They looked down and called me an ambulance.

“It was only when I was put on a trolley, I felt the rush of pain.”

An emergency call was made to the Wales Air Ambulance who transported Brendan to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

The father-of-five said: “Getting off the trolley onto the stretcher was painful, but the crew were excellent and so reassuring. They gave me pain relief and I remember the trees turning pinkish and the clouds not looking right.

“One of the medics would keep putting his thumb up to me and I’d do the same back. Within 15 minutes we were at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.”

Brendan went straight into the operating theatre and underwent four hours of surgery, before returning home only a few days later and was full of praise for the Air Ambulance which he credits for his remarkable survival.

County Times: Brendan Clancy pictured next to the helicopter that airlifted him to hospitalBrendan Clancy pictured next to the helicopter that airlifted him to hospital (Image: Wales Air Ambulance)

When reflecting on the care he received, Brendan said: “I could not fault the Wales Air Ambulance; they were all absolutely fantastic. I have lived all over the world and to my mind there is no other service in this world that could better it.

“I have nothing but praise for the people who looked after me.”

“I appreciate how incredibly lucky I am to be alive and how lucky we are to have such an amazing service in this country. I want to thank everyone who helped me on the day of my accident.

County Times:

Professor David Lockey, EMRTS Director, was the critical care consultant who attended Mr Clancy, alongside Critical Care Practitioner, Tom Archer.

He said: “It’s good to hear he has made such a speedy recovery. It is important to acknowledge the role of our colleagues in Ystradgynlais Community Hospital in this positive outcome, alongside clinicians in the University of Wales, Cardiff.

“Despite the positive outcome in this case, we would still advise anybody in an emergency situation to call 999 directly. It also serves as a reminder to everyone to be careful with power tools.” 

 Miraculously Brendan has made a full recovery with no lasting injury, other than a 12-inch scar.