Near fatal DIY accident survivor reflects on vital air ambulance flight to hospital
Eight years ago, on 29 March Northampton man Simon Glover cut his throat with an angle grinder whilst doing DIY at home.
The critical care crew from Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance treated him at the scene and he was airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery.
Within just 22 minutes he was receiving the lifesaving care he urgently needed at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire – over 40 minutes away by motorway.
Simon (54) says: “The saw blade cut was only two millimetres away from my main artery and I was bleeding heavily. If the local air ambulance hadn’t been there, I would probably have died.”
“It really is the difference between life and death and I and countless other former patients are walking, breathing proof of this.”
When he was in the hospital’s resuscitation unit Simon was told that the theatre was being prepped and it wouldn’t be long until they operated.
“All of a sudden I realised that I couldn’t breathe and as I choked, blood-filled my oxygen mask, and my lungs were also filling up with blood. All I could see were ten or so experienced medical staff looking very worried as they realised what was happening. They grabbed the trolley and rushed me straight to the operating theatre.”
“If I had been transferred in a land ambulance and this had happened, I might not have survived. My friends call me miracle man because I did,” he says.
Simon was using a diamond-tipped angle grinder to cut away bricks to make a window aperture bigger when his accident happened. As he worked his way up from the windowsill, the blade got wedged in the brick, spun out of Simon’s hand, and caught his face, neck, arm, and chest as it fell onto the floor.
His injuries included cuts to his windpipe, ligaments, and muscles in his neck.
As it was Good Friday Simon had to be transferred to hospital in Coventry rather than the local one in Northampton because of Bank Holiday staff shortages.
He underwent surgery to reconstruct his windpipe and staple and stitch the deep cuts he had suffered.
He was put into an induced coma for five days and miraculously was discharged from hospital a week after the accident happened. After two weeks rest, he went back to work.
The anniversary of his local air ambulance mission is a time of reflection for Simon. He says:
“Since they saved my life, I have celebrated my 50th birthday, my 30th wedding anniversary, and welcomed another six wonderful grandchildren into my world. Whenever I see the local air ambulance fly over, I always wave and thank the people that donate to keep them flying – because without them I would not have got to the hospital alive.”
Simon and his family have raised funds for the local air ambulance, and he urges other people to do the same if they can.
“This amazing service is run by a charity and receives no government funding. It relies on fundraising and donations to remain operational so it is up to us all to support them if possible, so they can carry on saving lives,” he says.
The charity needs the public’s support now more than ever as it recently launched two brand-new state-of-the-art replacement aircraft to continue getting its crew to the scene of an incident to deliver the highest quality of critical care to patients like Simon – and transfer them to hospital as quickly as possible.