Ron Sloan suffered head, back and leg injuries when he was knocked off his bicycle by a passing car on the A3075 near Goonhavern on February 16 2018.
The 76-year-old, who regularly cycled up to 40 miles three times a week, was left with such significant injuries that the land ambulance first on the scene requested the assistance of Cornwall Air Ambulance.
The helicopter pilot and crew landed in a nearby field at 1.30pm. Cornwall Air Ambulance casualty care paramedics Thomas Hennessy Jones and Pete Storer immediately set to work on the casualty.
Thomas said: “When I assessed Ron, I feared he had life threatening injuries. He was quite agitated due to a head injury and he had also suffered chest, back and pelvic injuries.”
The paramedics stabilised Ron’s pelvis and back and administered enhanced pain relief alongside lifesaving medication to prevent blood loss. Police closed off the road for several hours as they carried out investigation work. Eileen Sloan, Ron’s wife, was told to prepare for the worst.
She said: “The way they were talking you could tell it was bad. The police told me they didn’t know if Ron was going to make it.”
Ron was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where he spent two weeks, before being transferred to Bodmin. After spending several months in recovery, Ron and Eileen returned to Cornwall Air Ambulance at a recent Open Day event to meet the paramedics who helped him that day.
Ron said: “I’ve been cycling for 18 years, I’m often on that road, so it was just an ordinary day. I don’t remember anything- I knew nothing until I woke up in Derriford.
“I feel very grateful for the two paramedics that saved my life- I was pleased to see them again.”
Thomas added: “To see Ron again all these months later was just remarkable- we really didn’t know if he was going to make it. It’s rare for us to find out what happens to patients after we transfer them to hospital, so it was wonderful that Ron and his wife came in to see us. It was a special moment and I’m so pleased he’s recovering well.”
After visiting Cornwall Air Ambulance headquarters, Ron and Eileen donated to the charity.