Avid cyclist Dave Henderson, 73, urgently needed the help of the Cornwall Air Ambulance crew when a collision with a car left him fighting for his life on the roadside.
Dave had just finished a 100-mile training ride with a friend in preparation for a trip to Majorca to teach cycling safety, when the accident happened.
After stopping for some lunch in Mullion, Dave cycled off towards Posanooth to visit his daughters when he collided with a car, catapulting him from his bike.
A member of the public called 999 and the crew of Cornwall Air Ambulance were called into action. Aircrew Paramedic Stuart Croft and Dr Anna Shekhdar arrived on scene just 10 minutes later, landing in a field next to the road.
Dave sustained multiple injuries as a result of the crash, but the crew were most worried about his chest injury and his reduced level of consciousness. He had broken a rib, puncturing his right lung which caused a build-up of pressure. The crew inserted a needle into his upper chest to release the air so the lung could re-inflate.
Dave also suffered a head injury and a broken collar bone. His injuries were causing him horrendous pain so the crew made the decision to administer Ketamine, a very strong form of pain relief, to try and make it possible to move him. Once Dave was in a more stable and comfortable position he was airlifted to Derriford Hospital which took approximately 17 minutes.
Amazingly, Dave was released from hospital after only 6 days and was cared for at home by his wife Cath.
Now on the mend, Dave has been to visit Cornwall Air Ambulance HQ with Cath, to meet and thank the crew that helped him.
He said: “Any age is not good to get knocked off a bike, but at 73 you don’t bounce like you used to. Thanks to you all for the work you do, where would I be now without the help I was given.”
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