Businessman's amazing story of bouncing back after losing his leg in Tube train accident
PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 March 2019
A Bromley entrepreneur who lost his leg after being hit by a train has revealed how the tragic event not only changed his life for ever- but also the lives of others.
Richard Beese, 37, who narrowly escaped death after falling onto a Tube track following a drunken night out with his broker colleagues, ploughed all his compensation money into a new care home business and hasn’t looked back since.
Talking for the first time about the accident, Richard, who was a 23-year-old equity broker at the time, said: “I left work at 3pm, it was a massive night out for my old boss’s engagement party, involving beer, champagne, shots and we ended up in a club in the West End. It was all a bit hazy but the last thing I remember is chatting to the band Hearsay and that’s it.
“I didn’t know until two months after but I had got into the locked station at Bank, I wanted to go from there to Clapham Common, where I was living. I navigated my way down to the platform and fell asleep on a bench until about 3am. I got up, walked close to the side and fell over the lines and was on the track for 10 minutes. Then, instead of getting back up onto the platform, I carried on walking down the line and disappeared into the tunnel. Apparently I was there for two hours and went down another 100 metres.
“The next thing I remember is a Tube coming towards me, deep in the distance. Somehow I managed to slide into a little gap in the wall, a workmen’s doorway, which was a miracle because if I was anywhere else I would have died.
“The Tube is just going past my face, sparks are flying and it feels like it’s a ruler away from me. The train goes in at the platform and I’m lying on the floor. I look down and my left leg is open from my thigh, all the way down to the bottom, I could see all the muscle and then my right leg was just hanging off, the shin bone was just flopping around.
“I just started screaming and shouting, going light headed but I couldn’t let go in the fear that I’d die. Someone thankfully heard me and the guards shut down the line.
“I don’t remember getting to the hospital but do recall the doctors saying ‘Mr Beese we’re going to have to take your right leg off’, I said, ‘I don’t care, just don’t let me die.’”
Determined not to be beaten, he threw himself into rehab and got back to his desk three months later.
“I haven’t let it hold me back one bit. I’ve always been thankful that I’m alive! It’s slowly changed my life and still is to this day. It’s a reminder that life is short, we’re not here for long and we’re not indestructible. Unless something like this happens to you, you can’t comprehend it.
“The accident changed me, I really got an understanding for pain and empathy, something I’d never had to this extent before. Ever since then I have wanted to do business that gives something back to people in a positive way.
Richard was eventually awarded a five figure settlement after the accident and used the money to start a new care home company with a friend called Simon.
He said: “He was in and out of care homes growing up but after getting into a serious amount of trouble in Bristol, he left to come to London and started volunteering in a children’s care home, it was all he knew, he’s a very caring guy and he ended up having a career in the industry.
“He told me there was a lot of money to be made in the industry but because a lot of people were taking advantage of it, operations weren’t running smoothly and it became too dangerous to work in it. He started his own successful building firm.
“So I thought because he knows the industry inside and out, knows how to run a business, he’s entrepreneurial and he knows a sector I’m interested in, I wanted to give this a go.
“So we met up, and I said if you’re serious I will give you the funds through my settlement, to help set this up, and that’s how it started. We had a lot of problems to start with, running very low on cash, having to pay wages out my own pocket, overspending, there were numerous times we nearly went bust.
“It’s incredible that it actually worked but it was just through sheer grit and determination, especially from Simon, who gave everything up to start it. We’ve been running for 11 years now, with five homes, looking to set up our sixth and we have a school. So all of this isn’t bad from a chat at a New Year’s Eve party.
“It makes me immensely proud to be a part of this because we’re helping save children’s lives. What I care about is that I know we’re doing something amazing.”