Motor cyclist Stuart Best was seriously injured when he was thrown off his bike whilst riding around the track at the Rockingham Motor Speedway stadium.
He came down hard on his head and arms; fracturing his skull and breaking his left collar bone, right hand and right foot. He also suffered a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage and injuries to muscles and ligaments in his neck and shoulders.
“The injuries weren’t as bad as they could have been but were still nasty. I will always feel that if the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance didn’t attend my accident I might not be here today,” he says.
An experienced motorcyclist, Stuart (41) was trying out his new track motorbike before taking it to an event in Portugal. He had already completed one 20 minute session and was on the second lap of his second session when he experienced what bikers call “a highside” – similar to when a horse bucks its rider.
He hit the ground and was knocked unconscious immediately, the session was stopped and the track marshals rushed to Stuart’s aide. The onsite ambulance was soon at the scene and transferred him to the stadium medical centre.
As Stuart was still unconscious and had a head injury, the local air ambulance was called to transfer him to University Hospital Coventry where they have specialist facilities for head injured patients.
After 12 days he was discharged from hospital and it was two months before he returned to his job as a transmission planner for the mobile telecoms industry.
“I believe that if I had been transported by road to Coventry the outcome would not have been so positive. The journey would have taken at least an hour and time isn’t your friend in these situations,” says Stuart.
He has decided to share his patient experience to help raise awareness of the local air ambulance and highlight the fact we receive no government funding and rely totally on public donations to remain operational.
“Members of the biking community tend to know about the work of the air ambulance because, unfortunately, it often attends accidents involving motorcyclists. Having been on the receiving end of their service I want everyone to know about the amazing work this charity does and how important it is for us all to support it if we can,” he adds.