A man who suffered life-changing injuries in a motorcycle crash has recruited fellow bikers to help emergency services train in dealing with accidents.
Kane Laville was just 17 in December 2011 when the bike he was riding slipped on some cow dung on a road in Angle, Pembrokeshire, causing him to crash.
He suffered life-changing injuries after breaking his back in six places, which left him using a wheelchair. He spent nine months in Withybush and South Pembrokeshire hospitals, with visits to Morriston Hospital to undergo a series of skin-grafts.
But his experience left him determined to support the emergency services which helped him, and he became a regional representative of the Lids and Leathers Appeal. The charity collects old or damaged motorcycle helmets and clothing, which it donates to emergency services for use in training exercises.
He and wife Ceri recently delivered a trailer load of clothing to the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service based at Dafen with the Wales Air Ambulance. A Wales Air Ambulance crew attended the scene of Kane’s accident.
Kane, who lives in Pembroke Dock, said: “The Wales Air Ambulance sent a crew by road but I can’t remember anything.
“I was in hospital for nine months and it was a difficult time as I also caught MRSA and ended up with septicaemia as well.
“Volunteering for Lids and Leathers has meant a lot to me, it’s my way of thanking the emergency services who helped me.
“I put up a post on social media appealing for donations and we were inundated with offers after just a few days. I must have picked up 30 helmets in two days.
“I’ve had to rent a garage to store everything in because there is so much. I am using my own money to do so because this means so much to me.”
The air ambulance was called out to assist Kane’s family once again earlier this year.
His father Allen suffered a heart attack while out working as a refuse collector in Broadhaven in May. Despite the best efforts of the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service crew, the 63-year-old could not be revived.
Kane said: “I am so grateful to them. The crew did what they could to help dad but it wasn’t to be.
“We are very lucky to have this service in Wales.”
The removal of clothing from a casualty following an accident has to be undertaken carefully so as not to exacerbate any injury. Heavy leather clothing and motorcycle helmets can make that even more challenging, so the donations will provide an opportunity for EMRTS crews to experience cutting through and removing thick leather and hard helmets in a simulated accident environment.
They have been earmarked for use in simulation training in the near future by EMRTS medics.
EMRTS operations director Mark Winter added: “It was great to meet up with Kane and Ceri recently and for sharing these valuable contributions to support our high-fidelity training sessions.
“It is remarkable to see how Kane has turned his personal difficult circumstances into an opportunity to help others. We are extremely grateful for the hard work undertaken and the donations offered. Thank You.”