Dales smash that nearly took my life

Roger Quinn and the air ambulance crew that saved his life
Roger Quinn and the air ambulance crew that saved his life

Roger Quinn doesn’t take the simple things in life for granted. Even being able to walk down the street to his parents’ house is a miracle.

That’s because last year, his mum was told that Roger would not survive the weekend. And when he did, his parents were warned that he would spend the rest of his life on a ventilator.

Roger had been knocked off his motorbike by a car near Chatsworth, and left with lifethreatening injuries; he had broken his back, his neck, and several ribs, as well as suffering damage to his shoulder and his wrist. But the main impact had been to his head and he was left with serious brain damage, several skull fractures, and most of the bones in his face had been smashed to pieces.

His injuries were so severe that he was lucky to even make it to hospital alive.

But he did, and it’s thanks to Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance.

He was flown to the major trauma centre at University Hospital North Staffordshire. His accidenthappened at 12:55. By 13:54 he was registered with the Accident and Emergency Department and on his way for a scan.

Unfortunately the scan showed extensive damage, and doctors were concerned that Roger would not be able to survive such horrific injuries.

Roger’s mum and dad rushed to the hospital. His mum Mandy recalls: “The phone call from the police was the worst thing ever and the journey to the hospital seemed to take forever. We were warned by doctors to expect the worse.”

Roger says: “I can’t remember any of the accident.

“It was really difficult learning to walk again; I spent three months in total lying down so my strength had completely gone. I’ve also lost most of my eye sight, and pretty much all of my hearing, so I now wear a hearing aid. I’ve still got some brain damage and I will never fully recover, but after coming so close to death, I’m just glad to be alive. Without the Air Ambulance I really don’t think I would be here today.”

Roger spent six months in hospital and is now living independently and has started to attend computer classes with a view to starting a new career (supported by the charity Headway), as he is unable to carry out his previous role as an electrical engineer because of his injuries.

In May this year, he visited the airbase to meet the paramedic and doctor who saved his life. He said: “As a biker I was always aware of the great work that the Air Ambulance did, but I never thought that I’d be the one to have an accident. It was so important that they were there that day, the fact they had a doctor on board meant I was able to be anaesthetised before I even got to hospital, which meant I could go straight for a scan. The speed of the helicopter also meant that I could be taken straight to a major trauma centre where I could receive the specialist treatment I needed.

“We’ve since been doing a lot of fundraising for the Air Ambulance to make sure they’re there for others that need them in the future. All of our family and friends have been very generous in helping us to raise money for the people that saved my life and we’ll be continuing to raise money for them. Without them I wouldn’t be alive so I cannot say thank you enough.”

To find out more about the Charity, visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk or call 08454 130 999