Bodybuilder, 40, left badly injured after falling down the stairs says Amazon Alexa saved his life

A super-fit gym goer claims his Amazon Alexa saved his life by calling for help after he fell down the stairs, passed out and crushed his own legs – when he got up in the night to let his dog out to the toilet.

Dante McNulty, from Fordham, Cambridgeshire, lost his footing on the curved staircase when escorting five-year-old dalmatian, Mango, and slid down the steps ‘like an avalanche’.

The 40-year-old passed out in a kneeling position for six hours – with his 16st 4lb frame blocking the blood flow to his legs and causing such tremendous pressure his veins burst open.

After coming round, the telecoms engineer said he couldn’t feel his legs, ‘felt paralysed’ and was only able to shout to Alexa to call a friend, who phoned 999.

Dante McNulty, from Fordham, Cambridgeshire, claims his Amazon Alexa saved his life by calling for help after he fell down the stairs, passed out and crushed his own legs - when he got up in the night to let his dog out for a wee

Dante McNulty, from Fordham, Cambridgeshire, claims his Amazon Alexa saved his life by calling for help after he fell down the stairs, passed out and crushed his own legs – when he got up in the night to let his dog out for a wee

Dante passed out in a kneeling position for six hours - with his 16st 4lb frame blocking the blood flow to his legs and causing such tremendous pressure his veins burst open

Dante passed out in a kneeling position for six hours - with his 16st 4lb frame blocking the blood flow to his legs and causing such tremendous pressure his veins burst open

Dante passed out in a kneeling position for six hours – with his 16st 4lb frame blocking the blood flow to his legs and causing such tremendous pressure his veins burst open

At hospital, doctors revealed Dante was suffering from acute compartment syndrome from the compression and he was rushed into surgery.

Surgeons performed a gruelling life-saving op where both of Dante’s legs were sliced open and the muscle was cut off the bone and left ‘hanging’ for three days to relieve the swelling.

Dante was placed into an induced coma to give his body time to heal while doctors also placed him on dialysis and tackled sepsis caused by a potassium build-up in his bloodstream.

Self-professed ‘gym freak’ Dante, who lifted weights five times a week, then had metal mesh inserts put in his legs and skin grafts in a follow-up op, spending more than a month in hospital.

Currently unable to work, Dante is healing at home and undergoing physio in a bid to get back on his feet and his mum has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of his rent and bills.

Dante told how he lost his footing on the curved staircase when going to let five-year-old dalmatian Mango (pictured together before) out and slid down the steps 'like an avalanche'

Dante told how he lost his footing on the curved staircase when going to let five-year-old dalmatian Mango (pictured together before) out and slid down the steps ‘like an avalanche’

At hospital, doctors revealed Dante was suffering from acute compartment syndrome from the compression and he was rushed into surgery. Surgeons performed a gruelling life-saving op where both of Dante's legs were sliced open and the muscle was cut off the bone and left 'hanging' for three days to relieve the swelling

At hospital, doctors revealed Dante was suffering from acute compartment syndrome from the compression and he was rushed into surgery. Surgeons performed a gruelling life-saving op where both of Dante’s legs were sliced open and the muscle was cut off the bone and left ‘hanging’ for three days to relieve the swelling

Dante was placed into an induced coma to give his body time to heal while doctors also placed him on dialysis and tackled sepsis caused by a potassium build-up in his bloodstream

Dante was placed into an induced coma to give his body time to heal while doctors also placed him on dialysis and tackled sepsis caused by a potassium build-up in his bloodstream

Dante, said: ‘Normally I’m fit and healthy, I’m a bit of a gym freak. I’m usually in bed by 10pm on a school day. I got up in the night around midnight to go and pee and then went downstairs to let Mango out.

‘The top of my stairs curve. I think I stood on the thinner part of the step by accident, my heel pushed down onto the next step and I just slid down like an avalanche.

‘I must have passed out and six hours later I came round and was leaning back on my legs, a bit like when a footballer gets a goal and they skid across the grass on their knees, but lying back.

‘My bodyweight had compressed the blood flow from my knees downwards.

‘I just remember I couldn’t feel my legs. I couldn’t walk or move, I felt paralysed. Below my knees was cold, they didn’t seem swollen but I had a lot of veins pop just under my kneecap.

Dante told how he is normally a 'gym freak', lifts weights five times a week and goes to bed at 10pm. Pictured before the accident

Dante told how he is normally a 'gym freak', lifts weights five times a week and goes to bed at 10pm. Pictured before the accident

Dante told how he is normally a ‘gym freak’, lifts weights five times a week and goes to bed at 10pm. Pictured before the accident

‘I didn’t have my phone with me so I shouted to my Alexa, which is linked to my phone, to call my friend who came round and dialled 999. Technology is so advanced and so clever.

‘I would have been lying there for hours if it wasn’t for Alexa, I don’t know how I would have summoned up help.

‘The doctors told me if I hadn’t gone for surgery there and then sepsis would have kicked in, I would probably be dead.

‘My Alexa saved my life – though I do have to give some credit to my friend and the surgeons. It really is unbelievable, thank God my WiFi was working that day.’

Dante, pictured after his operation, said doctors told him if ge hadn't gone for surgery there and then sepsis would have kicked in and he'd probably be dead

Dante, pictured after his operation, said doctors told him if ge hadn’t gone for surgery there and then sepsis would have kicked in and he’d probably be dead

Dante was rushed to West Suffolk Hospital by ambulance on November 5 and taken into surgery immediately, claiming he was asked to sign a disclaimer regarding potential leg amputation.

Dante said: ‘When we got there they rushed me in and they were asking me all these questions. At this point I was really getting panicky because I don’t like hospitals.

‘On the way to surgery they wanted me to sign this disclaimer saying they had my permission to amputate my legs if need be, so I was worried.

‘They explained to me that I had severe compartment syndrome on my legs and that if they didn’t relieve the pressure soon that my legs could be lost.

‘They also said there was a lot of potassium build-up in my blood and my kidneys had failed so there were two things they needed to fix there and then.’

After recovering from the first surgery, Dante underwent a second surgery where metal mesh was inserted into his leg to help attach the muscle back to the bone, giving him what he's coined 'Iron Man' legs

After recovering from the first surgery, Dante underwent a second surgery where metal mesh was inserted into his leg to help attach the muscle back to the bone, giving him what he’s coined ‘Iron Man’ legs

Buff Dante, who is 5ft 10lb, said that being into fitness had been both a blessing and a curse when it came to the freak accident. His bulky frame meant it put additional pressure on his legs causing a severe case of compartment syndrome, but that he was also in the best condition for a good road to recovery

Buff Dante, who is 5ft 10lb, said that being into fitness had been both a blessing and a curse when it came to the freak accident. His bulky frame meant it put additional pressure on his legs causing a severe case of compartment syndrome, but that he was also in the best condition for a good road to recovery

Three days later Dante woke up from a medically-induced coma to discover surgeons had sliced a 13-inch long teardrop-shaped incision in both legs and removed muscle to relieve the pressure.

Dante said: ‘The muscle was taken off the bone and was just left hanging there to make sure all pressure could get out and the blood flow could continue again.

‘The pressure from the blood had caused the veins to pop just under my kneecap because the blood flow couldn’t go anywhere.’

Not only did doctors have to deal with the compartment syndrome but also side effects including sepsis and issues with his kidneys.

Dante said: ‘In those three days they also had to fix the sepsis too because it was so severe.

‘Apparently there was a lot of potassium in my bloodstream and the kidneys stopped working altogether so I was also on dialysis, they replaced half of my blood with blood transfusions.

Now home after being discharged on December 9, Dante relies on a zimmer frame and wheelchair and 'bum shuffles' up the stairs to bed, but is undergoing physio in the hope of 'waking up' his legs and being able to walk again

Now home after being discharged on December 9, Dante relies on a zimmer frame and wheelchair and ‘bum shuffles’ up the stairs to bed, but is undergoing physio in the hope of ‘waking up’ his legs and being able to walk again

‘I was kept on dialysis for 10 days after the coma and thankfully the kidneys started responding.’

After recovering from the first surgery, Dante underwent a second surgery where metal mesh was inserted into his leg to help attach the muscle back to the bone, giving him what he’s coined ‘Iron Man’ legs.

Dante said: ‘During the second surgery they put the muscle back onto the bone but then they wrapped it in what I can only describe as a bit like chicken wire.

‘They wrapped that around the muscle to pull the muscle back to the bone and then they took a skin graft from my right thigh and put it on both wounds.

What is compartment syndrome? 

Compartment syndrome is a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles – known as a muscle compartment. 

Acute compartment syndrome happens suddenly, usually after a fracture or severe injury, is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment, can lead to permanent muscle damage if not treated quickly Symptoms of acute compartment syndrome usually develop after an injury and get quickly worse.

Symptoms can include: intense pain, especially when the muscle is stretched, which seems much worse than would normally be expected for the injury; tenderness in the affected area, tightness in the muscle, a tingling or burning sensation, in severe cases, numbness or weakness (these are signs of permanent damage).

Supplied by NHS 

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‘The “chicken wire”, which is permanent, helps keep the muscle in place – I’ve now got Iron Man legs.’

Buff Dante, who is 5ft 10in, said being into fitness had been both a blessing and a curse when it came to the freak accident.

His bulky frame meant it put additional pressure on his legs causing a severe case of compartment syndrome, but that he was also in the best condition for a good road to recovery.

Dante said: ‘The doctors said because I’m very healthy my body was recovering at an extremely high rate.

‘But they also said there were some cons from me going to the gym, one being my body weight is so heavy that it caused this compartment syndrome.

‘But the positive is that my thighs were big enough to take all the skin for both calves from just my right thigh.’

Despite the surgeries going well, Dante admits that it was a shock to see his legs during the recovery process.

Dante said: ‘When I was in hospital, when they undid the bandages and I could see the extent of the damage, it really upset me.

‘It made me feel like I would never work again, I wouldn’t be able to go to the gym again or even walk my dog.’

Now home after being discharged on December 9, Dante relies on a zimmer frame and wheelchair and ‘bum shuffles’ up the stairs to bed, but is undergoing physio in the hope of ‘waking up’ his legs and being able to walk again.

Dante said: ‘The hospital gave me a wheelchair and zimmer frame. I can get to the kitchen and downstairs bathroom with the zimmer frame and I can shuffle my bum up the stairs to get to bed.

‘It takes 15 minutes to get up there and it’s exhausting but it means I’m able to sleep in my own bed.

‘I’m having physio to try and get me walking again. I need to walk because I need to wake my legs up.

‘The GoFundMe page was my mum’s idea. It’s really helped because I don’t know when I’m going to work again.

‘I’m self-employed so I don’t get sick pay. It’s a real relief and eases the worry of how to pay the rent and bills. This has taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.’

An Amazon spokesperson said: ‘We’re thankful to hear that Dante is okay, and grateful that Alexa was able to help him call his friend when he needed it most.’

You can donate to Dante’s page here.