A road traffic collision in winter last year left 23-year-old Liam Bradley with life-threatening injuries.
Liam was on his way to work in the early hours of 22 January 2021, when the incident happened on the A388 at St Mellion. It took emergency services almost two hours to cut him free from the car.
Suffering from extensive injuries to both legs and a collapsed lung, Liam was in critical condition. Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked to the scene, where critical care paramedics administered a blood transfusion to increase blood pressure and minimise damage to his brain.
Liam became just the second patient to receive a blood transfusion on scene since Cornwall Air Ambulance started carrying blood in December 2020.
Due to the proximity to Plymouth, the crew joined Liam in the back of a land ambulance for the transfer to Derriford Hospital. He spent two weeks in an induced coma.
On that day, Liam’s dad Gary had the knock on the door no parent ever wants to receive. Once the police delivered the news, he went straight to the hospital.
Gary said: “To see him stripped, with blood everywhere and all of the doctors and nurses working on him, we just thought ‘he’s not going to survive that’.
“We sat in the car park for hours hoping to see him once he was out of the operating theatre. It was such an unbelievably traumatic and emotional time.”
Liam suffered a brain injury due to the lack of oxygen going to his brain because of his injuries. Following treatment at Derriford Hospital, he was transferred to Mount Gould Hospital for specialist rehabilitation.
Over a year on from the incident, Liam has recovered remarkably well. He came to the airbase to visit the crew who helped him, including critical care paramedics Martin, Paul and Thomas and pilot Adam.
Liam said: “It’s hard to explain when you have an accident, but you don’t really believe it’s happened to you. I remember screaming, but I didn’t know what was going on. I’m a lucky boy- there is no point sulking. It was overwhelming to meet the people who helped me.”
Critical Care Paramedic Martin Bunt said: “To see Liam sat here now with the injuries he had is amazing. He had a hard time coming off the sedation, which was a concerning sign, so it’s very impressive. His positive attitude has really helped in his recovery.”