My face was crushed in freak horse accident – doctors had to rebuild my skull

A bloke who was driving to work had his life flipped upside down when he crashed into a horse that had escaped its field and got onto the motorway.

Ian Tilston was driving on the M56 from his home in Hawarden, North Wales, to Nantwich last year when he turned down a slipway and the horse – which had just been hit by another vehicle – smashed into the front of his car.

The impact of the collision crushed his car and meant the 34-year-old had to have life-saving brain surgery before a number of other procedures, one of which involved reconstructing his face.

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His family has said they could only identify Ian from "his nose".

Speaking more than a year on from the accident on January 10, 2022, Ian's brother Adam told the Liverpool ECHO: "He was put in an induced coma for a few weeks and when he woke up they moved him to The Walton Centre.

"He had a number of surgeries and they even rebuilt his face. His entire face was crushed in the crash and he had to have a piece of his skull removed for surgery.

"He looked an absolute mess after the accident and we only knew it was him through his nose. Police at the time said it was a freak accident and the fences were in fine condition but horses had since escaped."

Adam added his brother lost his vision and can't walk, so needs 24-hour care. Ian can now speak and is also able to partially move his right arm.

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Ian has been cared for in the Walton Centre, the only specialist hospital trust in the UK dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and pain management services.

The centre now wants to discharge Ian and his family want to renovate his mother's house to fit his needs.

The family are raising money to try and pay for the work to be done at Adam and Ian's mum's home in order for Ian to be discharged from The Walton Centre. To read more or donate, click here.

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