Why we fly

Paul’s Story

Support worker Paul Godsell broke his back, fractured his right ankle and sustained other injuries when his motorcycle flipped over and hit the road when he was involved in a collision with an oncoming motorhome on a tight bend on a country lane near Bedworth.

The impact was so forceful it broke the framework of the motorcycle and part of it was embedded in Paul’s leg. He also broke his nose, fractured two ribs, punctured his lung and had multiple cuts on his face.

He remembers moving his right foot, which had come out of his boot, and blood in his eyes from the injuries to his forehead.

He recalls the sound of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance landing near to where the accident happened but he has no recollection of being in the helicopter when it flew him to hospital in Coventry for the urgent medical treatment he needed. A flight which took just four minutes.

“Going to hospital by air ambulance as the crow flies saved vital minutes as I had lost a lot of blood and had to have a transfusion as soon as I got there,” he says.

Paul, from Bedworth, underwent 26 hours of surgery to repair his broken back and fractured ankle.

“As my spine had snapped like a twig it was a clean break and could be pinned. Luckily I wasn’t paralysed,” he says.

His foot was in danger of being amputated but thankfully surgeons were able to pin it back together initially and fuse it in a second operation.

Paul spent a total of five weeks in hospital and was able to go back to work seven months later before having the second foot operation. He was given the all clear in July 2018 – 15 months after his accident.

“I was shocked when I found out that the local air ambulance – which played such an important part in my successful recovery – is not funded by the government. I am now a regular donor to the charity,” he says.

Ironically when Paul had his accident he was planning to sell his motorcycle after enjoying riding it as a hobby for 12 years. He says:

“As it turned out the bike ended up in the graveyard and thanks to the local air ambulance and wonderful medical staff who treated me, I didn’t!”

Despite all the serious injuries he sustained Paul has returned to work, is able to drive and is perfectly mobile – albeit with a slight limp.