26th May 2022
I never knew much about Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey (KSS), prior to my accident. However, all that changed one sunny morning in August 2019.
I’d been a motorcyclist for forty-one years with an unblemished riding experience. That day I was riding my Honda VFR 1200 Crosstourer along a quiet country ‘B’ road in rural Kent, when a car emerged out of a side road, into my path.
I had less than one second to react, and a collision was inevitable. The impact was huge, and I suffered multiple injuries, including a shattered pelvis, two severely broken arms, several internal injuries, and numerous other ancillary injuries.
My first recollections after sliding to a halt was a woman’s voice screaming hysterically, “he’s dead!” I remember saying, “no I’m bloody not!”
I then remember hearing an approaching helicopter in the tranquil Kent sky, and I listened to the noise as it grew louder and louder as it circled above me, and I could smell the exhausts as it landed nearby.
By now, I’d worked out that my injuries were severe, but I immediately felt an enormous sense of relief and calm as I was loaded into the nearby helicopter. I felt I was in such safe hands, and the whole team were doing their best to ensure my survival.
I was flown directly to King’s College Hospital in London, one of the best trauma centres in the country, and during my brief moments of consciousness I felt so reassured by the calm and friendly face of Dean, the KSS Paramedic on board who was looking after me. I just knew I was being taken good care of.
My trip from south Kent to the central London hospital didn’t take long at all, where my first class treatment continued.
My recovery has taken two years, but it was steady improvement, the rate of which exceeded all my specialists’ expectations. I am absolutely convinced that the rapid response and excellent treatment by the brave men and women of KSS were key to my remarkable recovery. Had I been taken away in a land ambulance I feel the outcome may have been very different.
I genuinely believe that I owe my survival to KSS, and if the Air Ambulance had not been available for me on that day I would not have survived. I now donate to KSS and whenever I see one of their collection tins I always empty my wallet into it!
So, to all the brave, caring and professional men and women of KSS, a huge “thank-you” from me, for saving my life and giving me back my future.”
Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Paramedic Dean Bateman: “We received a call that a motorcyclist had been involved in an RTC and was in urgent need of advanced medical care. We were dispatched to the scene and arrived within 21 minutes. Initially David appeared very pale and unwell, as though he’d lost a significant amount of blood but fortunately his blood pressure and heart rate were stable.
We administered ketamine and fentanyl to treat David’s pain and to allow us to reduce and splint his fractures without causing further pain. He had very nasty open fractures to both of his lower arms but our biggest concern was his pelvis, that he had a significant pelvic fracture which can be a fatal injury if unrecognised and/or not treated correctly. We placed a pelvic binder on to limit any movement to David’s pelvis and reduce further blood loss.
David’s injuries were life-threatening and every second counts in situations such as this. We were able to bring the emergency room directly to David’s side, and provide specialist interventions normally only found in hospital settings. We continued this high-level care during the 20-minute flight to King’s College Hospital, giving David a blood transfusion in the helicopter to replace the blood that he was losing from his injuries. This journey could have taken over an hour and 40 minutes by road.
It is great to hear that David is recovering well, I send him our very best wishes from both myself and Team KSS as a whole.”