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Motorcyclist returns to work after serious accident thanks to quick response by EMRTS

Craig stands by helicopter

A motorcyclist was given a general anaesthetic at the side of a busy road after being thrown from his bike.

Craig Harrendence had clipped the central reservation of the A48 near Penllegaer, catapulting himself approximately 60 foot from his bike.

And he credits the WAA and its EMRTS crew for saving his life, after they arrived on the scene just minutes later.

The 52-year-old said: “I don’t remember much about the incident, but I was badly injured.

“The Wales Air Ambulance and EMRTS are life-savers, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Emergency services were called to his aid on April 26 last year after Craig was seen to break sharply and his bike fishtail, before hitting the kerb.

A passing ambulance found him lying close to his bike, face down with his helmet still on.

Emergency support was called and EMRTS Critical Care team arrived quickly, having already been airborne and returning to their base in Dafen, Llanelli, from a previous incident.

The two teams worked together, first rolling Craig onto his back, making sure his spine remained in alignment while they removed his helmet. He was attached to a monitor and intravenous lines inserted into his arms and hand.

EMRTS bring the skills of an A&E Department to the scene of emergency incident, and their expertise was needed as Craig’s blood pressure was found to be very low, as sign of possible internal bleeding, prompting them to give him a blood transfusion of two bags of blood. He was also given strong pain relief and fitted with a tight belt to his waist to support any internal injuries.

Noticing a crack in a helmet, and with Craig becoming agitated and confused, medics suspected a head injury, so administered the general anaesthetic to protect his brain and to enable them to transfer him safely.

He was moved onto a stretcher and loaded onto the helicopter which was on the road which had been cleared of traffic, and flown to University Hospital of Wales who took over his care.

The former soldier with the Royal Engineers, who continues to undergo physiotherapy, said: “My left leg was open so you could see my fibula, but pelvis was broken, I had a collapsed lung and fractured spleen, and internally my blood was low which wasn’t a good sign. I have had to have a buttock removed.

“I’ve been told that things were not looking good at all, but I came round after three days and was told it was unlikely I would walk again, and was looking at having to use a wheelchair.

“But I am a stubborn man and I was determined to get better. I spent 10 weeks in hospital and then I was home. My consultant was blown away by my recovery and the physios were amazed.

“I have reduced my medicine by my own request, and I self-catheterise now so I have to be careful with what I eat – there’s no pizza or red wine!

“But I’m fiercely independent and I am coping.”

Craig has now returned to his job as a joiner for Swansea Council.

He added: "Without the intervention of EMRTS the outcome would have been very different - I would not be here talking about what happened to me today.”

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