Loughborough man thanks local air ambulance for helping to save his life
Leaving work on his motorbike in November 2018 is the last thing former engineer Glyn Ellis remembers before a van pulled out and collided with him at Paudy Lane crossroads near Sileby in Leicestershire, causing life-changing injuries.
“When I woke up in the hospital a few days later, my wife said, ‘You have had a big accident’. But I could tell you nothing about it as I had a brain injury and memory loss,” said Glyn (68).
The collision had thrown Glyn over the van into a hedge, where a handlebar impaled his visor, touching his face. The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) were the first at the scene. With difficulty, the fire brigade pulled Glyn from the hedge, but the EMAS crew found him unresponsive.
It was decided that Glyn needed the advanced pre-hospital emergency medical skills of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA). Within nine minutes of their call, its critical care crew were on the scene. They gave Glyn intravenous pain relief and bound his pelvis with a special binder.
Based on the accident’s location, the crew felt it best to get Glyn to Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham, where there’s a Major Trauma Centre and accompanied him in the land ambulance to hospital.
At QMC, the trauma team found Glyn had multiple injuries – a smashed hip, shattered spleen, liver, bowel and pancreas damage, and a bleed on the brain. They removed his bowel and spleen, inserted a new hip and realigned his thumbs, which had also bent back after the accident.
Although it was touch and go in the hospital, Glyn’s physical fitness, the speed with which he got to QMC, and the combined expertise of the ambulance, air ambulance, and surgical teams helped to pull him through.
“I think I would have been dead without the air ambulance. Our grandchildren call me Wolverine because I’m invincible!” says Glyn.
However, the accident has had a lasting impact. Complications with necrosis in Glyn’s spleen resulted in a hernia that can’t be repaired as it would be too dangerous. He also struggles with memory loss, although positively, six months ago, he got his driving licence back and now uses a mobility scooter.
Nevertheless, the longest distance Glyn can walk with sticks is 50 yards and he can no longer do the heavy engineering work he loved or camp or fish as he used to do. Memory loss means he struggles to read a book, although the charity Headway helped him improve using memory tests and introduced him to woodwork in the workshop, and woodworking is now a hobby of his.
Glyn and his wife are grateful he survived, saying it could have been a lot worse and they are awed by the commitment and talent of the people who helped save his life. As a thank you, they have mentioned the DLRAA, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, in their wills.
“Doctors at the hospital said I was doing my best to die. But because of DLRAA and the crew’s expertise, I survived my motorcycle accident, and four years later, I’m still here to thank them all so much.”