Trevor Wiltshire was out for a regular bicycle ride on a lovely summer’s evening last August (4th August 2021) when he hit the windscreen of a car and landed in the road in Camelford.
Trevor, a lifelong cyclist, was following the flow of traffic when a car unexpectedly pulled out of a side road, turning right. He hit the windscreen hard, leaving him with multiple injuries.
Due to the serious nature of the incident, Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked to the scene.
“The air ambulance paramedic said my helmet saved my life,” Trevor remembers, “as there was an impact mark on the car’s windscreen.”
Trevor’s injuries included three broken teeth, a fractured patella, cracked ribs, severe bruising all down the left side of his body, and severe bruising on his jaw and chest, as well as two black eyes.
Police later told him that the damage to his bicycle (so severe it was written off, despite being only two weeks old) and the injuries to his left side indicated that he’d tried to swerve to avoid the car.
The air ambulance and land ambulance paramedics checked him over and deemed his injuries stable enough to send him to Derriford Hospital by land ambulance, and Trevor says their help was hugely reassuring.
“It’s a tremendous relief when help comes. You don’t know in those circumstances how serious your injuries are.”
Fortunately, he wasn’t left with life-changing injuries, and was able to leave hospital after 24 hours. However, Trevor still hasn’t fully recovered.
“My knee still hurts and I’m still taking medication for that. I can’t do the amount of gardening, cycling or exercise I used to.
“I have to use a kneeler now, when gardening, as it helps me to stand up after kneeling.”
Being active is a big part of life for Trevor, being a keen gardener and having spent his life travelling to preserve rare species of plants all over the world.
For wife Margaret, she describes what it was like hearing about his cycling incident.
“It’s funny because I had just been nagging him about cycling on the busy roads because there are just so many accidents these days… but we shouldn’t be frightened about going out on our bicycles.”
Trevor is still building up his confidence to get back on the road properly and is cautious about where he cycles, keeping mainly to the Camel Trail. For him, though, he says the air ambulance is vital for Cornwall.
“I think it’s crucial. Having been a first aider, there’s nothing worse than being the first on the scene with a patient who is your responsibility. When the helicopter arrives, it’s a big relief.”