A stitch in time... from 52 years ago

TOP STITCH Dave Graystoch with barber Kevin Gavaghann. (d264a352)
TOP STITCH Dave Graystoch with barber Kevin Gavaghann. (d264a352)

When Dave Graystock went for a trim he got more than he was expecting... for his barber pulled out a stitch that had been in his head since 1961!

Dave, 60, was having his regular cut when barber Kevin Gavaghan found the stitch, which had been there since he was run over aged eight.

Dave said: “Kevin’s cut my hair for 19 years and has always avoided that area because he felt something. I thought it was scar tissue.

“This time it must have been sticking out. Kevin said he was sure it was a stitch. He pulled it and it came clean out!

“At first I thought great! Now I know what that thing was, but then I thought, hang on, that’s been in my head since 1961! Why was it there all that time? It’s incredible.”

Dave, of Oxford Close, Gomersal, said he suffered a fractured leg and skull after being run over by a delivery van at Dewsbury Moor school.

Conscious, he tried to crawl away – but the driver thought he was under the wheels and reversed onto him.

He said: “I ran straight into him – he couldn’t stop. I never met him, but if I did I’d shake his hand. It must have been horrendous.”

Dave was stitched up at hospital – but said: “I couldn’t have anaesthetic because of the head injury. They had to get glass out of my skull. It was horrible – they had to hold me down.” While recovering he developed a rash and was kept in isolation for two weeks.

He went home, but his ordeal wasn’t over. Blood began seeping through his pot –but at first his dad thought it was red crayon. He was taken back to hospital on Boxing Day and diagnosed with bone disease osteomyelitis, which rots flesh from the bone. After an emergency operation he ended up missing 10 months off school – but found a friend.

He said: “A nurse called Lyons came to see me every day, even if she wasn’t working. I thought the world of her. It’d be nice if she was still around.”

Eventually Dave recovered and forgot about his ordeal.

He said: “I’ve had a few bangs on my head over the years but I’ve never had any other serious injuries. The nit nurse used to come to school to check us; obviously she didn’t look very carefully!

“It’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Barber Kevin, from Up The Junction barbers, at the border of Heckmondwike, Dewsbury and Batley, said: “I’ve taken stitches out of people before.

“The England rugby player John Bentley had five stitches in his head for about three months and I took those out with a pair of pliers.

“In this job you come across quite a few odd things but nothing quite as odd as this!”