Meet Andy

Patient story

Andy’s story

Andy’s Story

On the morning of Wednesday 15 February 2012, I had a gap between meetings, so I decided to nip into Milton Keynes to buy a battery for my watch. I remember leaving the Cranfield University site, then waking up in hospital at around 7pm, with a vague idea I needed to be there.

I later heard that I had been involved in a car accident on a rural road, going about 40 mph.

The other driver suffered a cracked sternum and was walking and talking at the scene. I hadn’t been quite so lucky. I had suffered a brain bleed and a lung injury, I had cracked two ribs, fractured my pelvis in three places and ruptured my spleen.

The Thames Valley and Chilton Air Ambulance was first on the scene; but with only paramedics on board and such a serious trauma they called for assistance from a trauma specialists, and I was fortunate that the next closest air ambulance to the accident at the time, despite being miles from my Flitwick home, was my local air ambulance, the East Anglian Air Ambulance, complete with critical-care paramedic and trauma doctor on board.

I rather cruelly sent Sue to the scrap yard with my camera. The pictures show I was sitting in the only survivable space in the car.

Andy

I was anaesthetised and stabilised, and then flown to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

My poor wife Sue arrived home at 6pm and found a message on the answer-phone from my boss; he’d called worrying that I hadn’t returned to work having seen that there had been an accident. When the police arrived at the house half an hour later she feared the worse, but when she later visited in hospital I managed to make her laugh, so she knew I was ‘still in there’.

I rather cruelly sent Sue to the scrap yard with my camera. The pictures show I was sitting in the only survivable space in the car.

I have since made a full recovery, and was back at work within 10 weeks. Before the accident, I already liked my life and Sue and I were happiest people I knew. Since then, things that used to cause me stress or worry I now take in my stride, because every day I notice how beautiful the world is and appreciate that I am still here to enjoy it.

As a former pilot, the most disappointing aspect of the whole thing is being unconscious throughout the helicopter flight!

I fear without the care and treatment I received from EAAA’s Dr Tom Hurst and critical-care paramedic Jemma Varela it might have been a very different story, and I could have sustained severe brain damage. My care throughout was second to none and I am grateful to all who played a part in it.

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