Sheffield man reflects on Valentine’s Day air ambulance rescue
Ten years ago, on Valentine’s Day retired lorry driver Mick Tennant (74) was airlifted to hospital by Derbyshire, Leicestershire& Rutland Air Ambulance after being seriously injured in a road traffic accident.
His injuries were complex and life-threatening, including a compound fracture to his lower leg, severed blood vessels to his leg and foot, irretrievable damage to his calf muscle, and a shattered knee cap.
The accident changed Mick’s life completely. He never returned to work and, to this day, is unable to walk without crutches.
“If it wasn’t for the air ambulance getting me to hospital so quickly, I would have lost my leg. I am so grateful for what they and the other emergency services did for me that day,” he says.
Mick and his family often reflect on the events of February 14, 2011.
It is a family tradition that Mick always sends a text message to his wife and daughters telling them how much he loves them, but 10 years ago they got a phone call instead with the horrific news about his accident.
“If it wasn’t for the emergency services and the quick response of the air ambulance team, there’s the real possibility that dad might not be with us today at all and then there would be no Valentine’s messages to either my Mum, sister, or myself,” says Mick’s eldest daughter Tracy Richardson.
It took DLRAA just eight minutes to fly Mick from the scene of the accident – on the A1 at Tuxford – to Lincoln County Hospital where he underwent a nine-hour operation to save his right leg. The journey by road would be about half an hour.
He spent a few days in intensive care and the high dependency unit before being transferred to the trauma centre at the Northern General Hospital in his hometown of Sheffield.
Mick then faced a long and painful recovery undergoing 13 operations, numerous physiotherapy sessions, and follow-up appointments.
The accident changed his life completely. However, the power of the love that Mick has for his family gave him the courage to walk Tracy down the aisle on her wedding day – just months after he was finally discharged from hospital in 2013.
“Dad used me as his crutch and it’s thanks to the efforts of the emergency services, including the air ambulance crew, that he’s still with us, he’s still standing and was able to manage it,” says Tracy.
“I think just about every girl wants her Dad to be the one to walk her down the aisle and it made a special day an incredibly special day,” she adds.
Mick and his family are forever grateful that the local air ambulance attended his accident, and they are keen supporters of the charity, which receives no Government funding and relies on donations to remain operational.
“If my story helps raise awareness of the lifesaving work the charity does every day of the year then I am happy to share it. I appreciate very much what the local air ambulance does and am so grateful it came to my aid ten years ago,” he says.