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Two years after being flown by WNAA – Biker re-emphasises importance of lifesaving service

Two years ago today (May 5th) Stuart Best from Wellingborough was a patient flown by Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

An experienced motorcyclist, he was seriously injured when he was thrown off his bike whilst riding around the track at the Rockingham Motor Speedway stadium.

Since his accident, he has made a full recovery and has been able to take part in track days in the UK and abroad.

But since early March Stuart’s motorcycle has been kept in the garage during the Covid-19 lockdown while he is very busy working from home as a transmission planner for the mobile telecoms industry.

When he came off his bike, Stuart landed 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.

Stuart (42) 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 high-side” – 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 & Warwickshire where they have specialist facilities for head-injured patients.

After 12 days he was discharged from hospital and it was two months before he was able to return to work.

“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.

“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.

Lifesaving Missions like Stuarts’ wouldn’t be possible without public support – The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the charity. Due to the closure of its retail division, suspension of its reuse collections and cancellations of fundraising events, the charity is facing a projected net loss of at least £2.18M for the months April to June.

Your local air ambulance is helping to save more lives and its dedicated crews are continuing their lifesaving missions through this difficult Coronavirus pandemic – providing vital, critical care support to the NHS.

To find out more how you can help support your local air ambulance, click here

Or to share your inspiring story with the charity, click here