Air Ambulance patient reflects how different his life could be without the critical care he received
A former patient of Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance has reflected on how different his life could be now after reading about the charity’s recent 40,000th mission milestone.
“If the crew hadn’t come out to me on the day of my accident, I might not be alive today or could have ended up being severely disabled,” says Nigel Turner.
In October 2015 he suffered life-threatening injuries when his car – which was stationary at the time – was hit by a van travelling at 60 miles an hour.
Nigel was knocked unconscious and has no memory of what happened. He has since been told that his car was spun around by the impact and smashed into the rear of an articulated lorry. His vehicle was crushed and trapped under the lorry and Nigel had to be cut out by the Fire Brigade.
His skull was fractured in five places and he suffered a bilateral bleed on his brain and had a seizure. He also had four broken ribs.
The air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic who attended the scene of the accident – on the A38 in Sutton Coldfield – anesthetised Nigel to stabilise his condition. He was then flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham in just six minutes.
A combination of the critical care he received at the scene of the accident and the speed in getting him to the region’s major trauma hospital had a significant impact on Nigel’s recovery.
“When I met the crew, who treated me later they were able to help me piece together a week of my life that I don’t remember. It was very helpful and made me realise what a huge bonus it was to have the air ambulance attend the scene of my accident,” he says.
Nigel spent three days in intensive care and after a week he was allowed home. Fortunately, he didn’t have to have any surgery except for stitches. He was off work for four months before making a graduated return to his role as a company director.
As a result of the accident Nigel (52) from Sutton Coldfield has lost the hearing in his right ear and has tinnitus. He has problems with his balance and suffers spells of dizziness and fatigue.
“It could have been very very different if it wasn’t for the air ambulance. I could have lost my life or ended up being disabled if they hadn’t been there to provide all the treatment on scene that they did. I am very lucky,” he says.
Knowing that the local air ambulance is a charity and receives no government funding, Nigel says “it is important that people raise as much money as they can to support the service.”
His first-hand experience of being a patient has inspired a friend to take part in the Sutton Fun Run dressed as a helicopter and his son’s school to choose Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance as a nominated charity.
“It is very easy in this day and age to take the emergency services for granted. We hope that we are never in any accidents, let alone serious collisions like mine, but if we are unlucky enough to be involved in one the emergency services leap into action.
The local air ambulance adds a critical dimension by arriving on the scene in minutes with a doctor and critical care paramedic on board ready to administer lifesaving care. I know they dramatically improved my chances of survival.
Raising public awareness of the fantastic work carried out by the local Air Ambulance Service is vital as they are solely reliant on donations and fundraising and receive no government funding to meet the £1,700 cost of every mission. My family and I are extremely grateful for the care I received on that day and our thanks go to each and every person for the hard work and dedication that makes this service possible.”
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