25th Oct 2018
At around 8:30pm on a dark October evening, 14-year-old Joe Pelham was cycling at the junction of the A31 and the Coxbridge Roundabout in Farnham when he was hit by a car.
Paramedics from SECAMB were the first to treat Joe, who had been pulled to the safety of the verge by his friend but had sustained very serious injuries.
At the time of the accident, the Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex crew were returning to base from a mission on the M25 in one of the service’s rapid-response vehicles. They were promptly redirected by the AAKSS dispatchers to provide urgent help for Joe.
Soon on the scene, the AAKSS crew took over Joe’s care, dealing with multiple and critical injuries to his head, chest, stomach and legs at the roadside.
They administered an anaesthetic, blood products in the form of plasma and performed emergency chest surgery to treat a damaged and collapsed lung before hurrying Joe by road to St George’s Hospital under blue lights.
At hospital, Joe underwent surgery to repair his liver, stomach, lungs and a fractured skull. He was then placed in an induced coma for more than a week to give his body the chance to heal itself.
Over the next eight weeks, Joe underwent further surgery, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. He was finally allowed home just before Christmas.
His mum, Sam, praised the Air Ambulance team for their speed of response, in-depth medical knowledge and life-saving care, describing them as “true heroes”.
“What the Air Ambulance team and paramedics did was absolutely amazing,” she says. “Without them, we wouldn’t have Joe with us today.”
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