Northampton biker says 'thanks' to air ambulance service as it prepares for 40,000th mission
"It’s amazing within an hour of being injured I was in A&E, thanks to the helicopter" says Dafydd
Dafydd Lee will say a special thank you to Northamptonshire's air ambulance crews as they get ready to fly their 40,000th mission.
The 22-yer-old from Northampton is one of the 39,000-plus patients who have already been helped by the charity following a motorbike crash 2½ years ago.
A chopper ferrying emergency medics to the scene landed 17 minutes after getting the SOS call.
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And Dafydd was getting specialist treatment in hospital in Coventry's major trauma hospital 50 miles away just 19 minutes after taking off.
He said: "It’s amazing that within an hour of being injured I was in A&E. Thanks to the helicopter, I couldn’t have got the urgent treatment I needed any quicker,”
Dafydd was knocked unconscious and fractured his left femur, both wrists and jaw in the crash on the A5 in Milton Keynes in June 2018.
He was travelling back to Northampton on his motorcycle when a car that did an unexpected U-turn at traffic lights. The next thing he remembers is waking up in hospital.
Dafydd added: “If I hadn’t been wearing such a good helmet at the time I would probably be dead,
"Getting to the hospital by road via the M1 and M6 would have taken a lot longer, even in an ambulance with sirens and blue lights.“
“What they do is incredible and I am very grateful to them for getting me to hospital so quickly."
Critical care crew in the air ambulance administered pain relief drugs and medication to assist the clotting process to control blood loss, before loading Dafydd onto the AgustaWestland 109 chopper, which has a top speed of 185mph.
On arrival at the Coventy's University Hospital they did a handover to a full trauma team in the A&E department.
Dafydd spent a month in hospital and during that time he had two operations to put a rod in his leg and plates in his wrists and jaw to mend the fractured bones.
He also underwent intensive physiotherapy and attended special clinics to deal with the effects of his head injury, which included memory loss, not being able to read and difficulty retaining information.
He could not for more than a year but now he has a job as a toolmaker — and drives a car!
Oh, and he has also taken up skydiving!
He quipped: "You never think you will need to be flown in an air ambulance but, as it turns out, I did.
"But if I go in a helicopter again I intend to jump out of it and not be a patient!”
The Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance service is a charity funded solely by support from the public.
The 24/7 lifesaving service expects to reach its 40,000th mission milestone on June 24 yet relies on donations to meet the cost of each rescue trip.
It flies around 1,800 missions a year, each estimated to cost around £1,700 each.