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Leon: Forget being fired, I almost died

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Joined: 19 Jan 2004
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    Posted: 18 May 2011 at 10:43
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Apprentice Leon Doyle almost died

By COLIN ROBERTSON

Published: Today

APPRENTICE hopeful Leon Doyle told last night how he was inches from death after falling 60ft out of a tree as a child.

The 26-year-old entrepreneur revealed that he hit the ground so hard his HEART STOPPED.

He was put on a life support machine and was in a coma for a week.

His parents feared their 12-year-old son would die after the accident while he was building a tree house with pals.

Leon told a friend: "I thought that's it - I'm dead. I could see myself falling out of the tree and it was like a dream, I was falling so fast.

"I just hit the ground like a sack of spuds and was out cold. My friends thought I was dead. The paramedics came and rushed me to the local hospital in Leeds.

"Everyone was really worried as I was totally unconscious.

"Apparently my heart stopped for a short while and I was technically dead, but thanks to the medics I was saved.

"I broke minor bones but it was a massive head injury that was causing the biggest worry."

Leon was taken to the Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons had to drill into his head to release the pressure.

He remained in a coma for a week and spent 12 days hooked up to a life support machine.

Leon said: "I couldn't remember a thing that happened after I hit the ground. I woke up and was in a complete daze.

"My mum was telling me what had happened. I couldn't believe how lucky I was."

Leon admitted that the accident was of his own making, saying: "I was building a tree house and we went a bit over the top with the design.

Not%20appy%20...%20Leon%20Doyle%20and%20team%20push%20phone%20gizmo
Not appy ... Leon Doyle and team push phone gizmo

"I thought we could make it bigger. I decided we should build an extension on a nearby branch and climbed up to show the lads where I meant.

"But the branch was too flimsy - it snapped."

Leon had to take three weeks off school but insisted: "I was determined that my accident would not hold me back.

"That's why I've always been a business nut. It's like I've been given a second chance. That's why I'm so keen to win The Apprentice."

But Leon will need to pull his socks up to be in with a chance of Lord Alan Sugar's £250,000 cash injection into a new business. He has been in the boardroom in both episodes so far - losing as project manager last week for failed phone app Slangatang.

Tonight's episode sees the teams compete to find a luxury items for a London hotel launch.

The Apprentice is on BBC1 at 9pm.

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