Northampton man flown to hospital by air ambulance after motorbike crash
"If I wasn’t wearing such a good helmet at the time, I would probably be dead" - now Dafydd Lee is helping raise money for charity
A Northampton man has spoken of his gratitude after his life was saved by air ambulance crews after he was serious injured in a motorbike crash.
Dafydd Lee's story is featured in the latest fundraising campaign for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
The story of how he was airlifted to hospital in Coventry after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on the A5 near the Milton Keynes Bowl concert arena is being used by the lifesaving service in its spring mailing to households across the five counties it operates in on 28 April.
Recipients of the letter in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire will read how just 17 minutes after getting a call out, the local air ambulance arrived at the scene of the accident and then flew Dafydd to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire – 50 miles away – in 19 minutes.
“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. It’s amazing that within an hour of being injured I was in the A&E department being cared for by specialists. Thanks to the helicopter I couldn’t have got the urgent treatment I needed any quicker,” he says.
Dafydd, aged 23, was travelling home on his motorcycle in November 2017 when he was involved in a collision with a car that did a U turn at traffic lights.
He was knocked off his bike and the next thing he remembers is waking up in hospital.
“If I wasn’t wearing such a good helmet at the time, I would probably be dead,” he says.
When Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance arrived, a land ambulance was already at the scene. Dafydd was being given oxygen to help his breathing and he had been placed on a stretcher.
The air ambulance’s critical care crew gave him pain relief drugs and medication to assist the clotting process to control blood loss, before loading him onto the helicopter. On arrival at the hospital, they did a handover to a full trauma team in the A&E department.
Travelling by helicopter meant that Dafydd was able to get the care he needed sooner than had he been transported to hospital by road. This ultimately improved his outcome and avoided him having to endure, what can often be, a much more uncomfortable journey.
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 underwent intensive physiotherapy and attended a special clinic to deal with the effects of his head injury, which included memory loss, not being able to read and difficulty retaining information.
He was unable to work for over a year but is now has a job as a toolmaker.
Dafydd has made such a full recovery he has been able to undertake 25 sky dives since August 2019.
“You never think you will need to be flown in an air ambulance but, as it turns out, I did. What they do is incredible, and I am very grateful to them for getting me to hospital so quickly. If I go in a helicopter again, I intend to jump out of it and not be a patient,” he quips.
Your local air ambulance crews have continued to work tirelessly 24/7 throughout the pandemic - supporting the NHS when they needed it most. With the loss in income whilst fundraising activities were halted, stores closed, and events cancelled, the charity needs the public's support now more than ever to continue saving lives across its five counties.
Anyone wishing to support the lifesaving charity’s campaign or for further information can visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk or call 0300 3045 999.