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Why we fly

Liam’s Story

I was in and out of consciousness and having difficulty breathing. I remember the Air Ambulance doctor giving me an injection before I was carried to the helicopter.

Liam Cobain

Motorcyclist Liam Cobain was in horrendous pain after being badly injured when he was involved in a collision with a van on the main road out of Baslow in The Peak District.

He was overtaking the van when it turned right.  Liam’s bike hit the side of the van, he was knocked off and dragged under the vehicle for a short time and then the van ran over his head before coming to a halt.

Thankfully, Liam had invested in a good quality helmet and protective leather clothing so the injuries he sustained – although serious – weren’t life threatening.

He had broken his sternum and top three ribs, as well as breaking his right arm and left wrist with damage to muscles and ligaments in both. He suffered lacerations and bruising to his lungs and a serious contact burn on his right elbow.

Liam, from Bamford in Derbyshire, says:

“I was in and out of consciousness and having difficulty breathing. I remember the Air Ambulance doctor giving me an injection before I was carried to the helicopter.

Despite the drugs the pain was horrendous and every movement made it worse, but once I was in the helicopter it was much better.

I came around when it landed, it was so soft and smooth – like landing on a sponge. But unfortunately when I was wheeled on a gurney into the hospital, the pain shot through me again with all the bumps and vibrations.

If I had been transferred to hospital by land ambulance it would have been unbearable as I know from previous experience that the suspension isn’t very good in those vehicles and it can be very bumpy in the back.”

It took just 5 minutes – compared with 45 minutes by road – to transport Liam from the scene of the accident to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.

On arrival he was given a full body scan and x-rayed and later had an operation to put plates and screws in his wrist. He was discharged after a week.

Liam’s other injuries were left to heal naturally and he had eight weeks off work and a course of physiotherapy before being able to return to his job as a lorry driver.

Although still in what he describes as “manageable pain”, Liam wants to raise funds for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance that came to his aide when his accident happened in November 2018. He also wants to raise awareness that it is operated by a charity.

“I was aware of the work of the local air ambulance and had assumed that it was part of the NHS, like I think most people do. I never bothered finding out about it as I thought I will never need to use their services, which is wrong.

Unfortunately motorcyclists are at risk of being involved in an accident – it’s one of those things, like working with animals and getting bitten – so I’m very grateful the air ambulance is there for us when needed.

If it wasn’t for the air ambulance getting me to hospital so quickly my injuries could have been worse and I would have suffered a lot more pain travelling there by road,” he says.