Why we fly

James D’s Story

I am very grateful for what the air ambulance crew did for me. Without them I might not be here today to tell the tale

James Davies

The medical interventions performed by the local air ambulance critical care crew at the scene of the incidents they attend make a significant difference to the long-term outcome of the patient.

When Nuneaton warehouse operative James Davies (43) was knocked off his bicycle in a road traffic collision on his way to work he suffered multiple injuries – including bleeding on the brain and a lacerated skull – and it wasn’t until six weeks after the accident that his family knew he was going to recover.

He spent 108 days in hospital and is now hoping to return to work at the end of October.

“I am very grateful for what the air ambulance crew did for me. Without them I might not be here today to tell the tale,” he says.

It was 6.15am on 2nd February when James was hit from behind by a heavy goods vehicle. Within 19 minutes the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance critical care car attended the scene of the accident on the A444.

The air ambulance crew were concerned that James – who was unconscious – might have a serious head injury so he was anesthetised and given drugs to stabilise his condition. These early interventions were crucial to his long-term recovery and helped prevent secondary brain injuries which can occur after such accidents.

James’s other injuries included a fractured eye socket, fractured scapular, broken ribs, bleeding on the lungs, lacerations to his liver, kidney and spleen, four fractured vertebrae and a broken pelvis.

He was taken by land ambulance to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire. The air ambulance doctor who accompanied him on the nine-minute journey had informed waiting medical staff in the Accident & Emergency Department that James had lost a lot of blood, so they had some ready to give him an infusion as soon as he arrived.

James’s sister Rachel James had to go to the hospital to identify him. She says:

“Even if he hadn’t made the miraculous recovery he has, the care he received at the scene of the accident would have bought me time to say a final goodbye. If nothing else, we would have had that chance.”

“Death was never the worst-case scenario though as he could have been trapped in a body, he couldn’t use, so to see him walking around and standing up now brings tears of joy to my eyes.”

James spent five weeks in intensive care and another two weeks in a major trauma ward at Coventry before he was transferred to the Central England Rehabilitation Unit, Leamington Spa – from where he was discharged on 20 May.

Rachel is so grateful to the local air ambulance for the part they played in her brother’s “miraculous recovery” she is now fundraising for the charity.

She says: “There isn’t enough money in the world to show how grateful we are for the care that James received that has meant he is still here with us today and able to enjoy his life, but every penny we can raise will go towards keeping the air ambulance flying and giving others the chance to survive.”