Local man’s life saved by charity after urgent chest surgery following bike accident

Published: 6th February 2024

A North West man is thanking a local charity for saving his life after a biking accident left him with potentially fatal consequences.

Jon Hill, a 62-year-old biking enthusiast, was enjoying a solitary ride through the hills of Macclesfield when he unexpectedly collided with a farmer manoeuvring his cattle trailer onto the road. Due to the severity of the accident, the North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA) were immediately dispatched.

Consultant Doctor, Eimhear and Critical Care Paramedic Adam arrived to find Jon on the brink of a cardiac arrest. Their examination revealed life-threatening injuries, including a tension pneumothorax, which is the presence of air or gas in the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall, which can result in collapse of the lung.

Moving swiftly, the NWAA crew stabilised Jon before performing chest surgery. Without this lifesaving procedure, Jon’s lungs would have compressed and caused his heart to stop beating.

The crew also performed an ultrasound at the scene, usually performed in a hospital setting. The ultrasound looked for internal bleeding, resulting in Jon receiving five units of blood. Considering the severity of his injuries, the crew made the decision to fly him to Manchester Royal Infirmary, significantly reducing transport time compared to a road journey.

Without the enhanced pre-hospital care provided by NWAA, Jon’s chances of survival would have been significantly diminished.

Patient Jon volunteering at the Wilmslow shopJon in the yellow and blue helicopter from the North West air ambulance charity

As part of its 25th birthday campaign, NWAA is calling out for patient stories like Jon’s to highlight their vital work within the region.

Jon’s story illustrates their unwavering commitment to saving lives and providing critical care, when and where it’s needed. In the last 25 years, NWAA has responded to over 35,000 missions like Jon’s.

Reflecting on the accident, Jon said: “I have no memory of the incident, but through conversations with the police and those who assisted me at the scene, I have been able to piece together what happened. My first memories were a day or so later when I recall seeing family members at my bedside.

Jon added: “Volunteering for the charity is my way of saying thank you, I’m due to retire soon and I’ve recently moved to working three days a week, as a build-up to retirement. I felt that I wanted to give something back, which is why I now volunteer in the NWAA Wilmslow shop one day a week.”

Despite extensive injuries, including broken bones, fractures, and a lacerated liver, Jon made a remarkable recovery thanks to the indomitable spirit and tireless efforts of the North West Air Ambulance Charity. Expressing gratitude for saving his life, Jon recently met with Dr. Eimhear at the charity’s base and now dedicates his time to volunteering at their Wilmslow retail shop.

Dr. Eimhear, from the NWAA Charity, said: “This is a perfect example of the importance of the enhanced pre-hospital care we deliver to patients. Jon had two life-threatening injuries, and the treatment for each can only be provided at the scene by NWAA.

“These included a lifesaving blood transfusion to treat his abdominal haemorrhage, and the release of his tension pneumothorax to allow the relief of a life-threatening build-up of air in his chest which was impairing his heart from beating effectively.

“Without both of these interventions, Jon would not have made it to the hospital alive. Both Adam and I are grateful we have the opportunity to give lifesaving treatment to patients like Jon.”

Over the past quarter-century, NWAA has become an integral part of the region’s emergency response system, ensuring swift, expert medical assistance for those in dire need. Through the dedication of their exceptional teams and the generosity of their supporters, NWAA continues to make a profound impact on communities throughout the North West. To donate or find out more about the charity, visit the website here.

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