NWAA saves life of man who fell off scaffolding at 30ft

Published: 8th May 2024

Gary’s journey with North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA) began when he was involved in a serious accident, whilst renovating his home, he fell off scaffolding from a height of 30ft in August 2023.

Moving swiftly, the NWAA crew arrived at the scene and assessed Gary’s injuries, the crew could see that his injuries were life-threatening.

Consultant Professor Simon at North West Air Ambulance Charity said: “Gary had a significant fall from scaffolding, which resulted in life-threatening injuries that required specialist treatment in a major trauma centre. His injuries included a combination of severe head injury (with bleeding around the brain), spinal injury, chest injury (including punctured lungs) and a very severe injury to his abdomen, with severe internal bleeding from his spleen.

“As a team, we needed to sedate Gary and treat him using a combination of drugs that are not available on a routine ambulance. We were able to perform diagnostic tests using ultrasound at the roadside which identified internal bleeding even before the patient arrived at hospital. We splinted suspected fractures and gave intravenous tranexamic acid, a drug to reduce bleeding. We then carefully controlled Gary’s blood pressure en route to the hospital to optimise both his head injury and abdominal bleeding.”

The NWAA crew transported Gary in the back of an ambulance, which is often done when the patient’s injuries are so significant that the crew need to closely monitor them and continue treatment on the way to the hospital.

This quick response and transportation reduced the journey time by 50%, showcasing the lifesaving nature of NWAA’s services.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Gary was taken to surgery where five surgeons worked tirelessly to save his life. There was a possibility that he wouldn’t walk again, but thanks to the expertise of the medical team, his injuries were stabilised enough for him to regain mobility.

Image of Gary with his daughter and son standing either side of him.















Reflecting on the accident, Gary Carlisle-Collett said: “The reason I survived is because of the charity. I am so thankful to them, the hospital, my children and my wife for standing by me through such a difficult time.

“When I regained consciousness at the hospital, my surgeon told me that whatever North West Air Ambulance Charity did prior to my arrival saved my life. The work that they do is nothing short of amazing, and I’m looking forward to giving back to them at the London Royal Park Half Marathon.”

Gary’s recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. Although he hasn’t fully recovered, he has made huge strides in his journey to wellness. In fact, on the six-month anniversary of the accident, Gary was able to return to part-time work as a painter and decorator. His passion for running and walking up mountains was reignited, and he is now confidently able to do runs in his local park.

In a gesture of appreciation, Gary has decided to give back by fundraising. He has signed up for the London Royal Park Half Marathon, taking place on 13th October, to raise funds for the charity that saved his life.

Image of Gary and his wife, who is wear a neon green head-warmer, in running clothes on a country road.
















The North West Air Ambulance Charity is proud to have played a part in Gary’s incredible recovery and is calling out for more patient stories like his as they celebrate their 25th birthday this year.

Over the past quarter-century, NWAA has become an integral part of the region’s emergency response system, ensuring enhanced, expert medical assistance for those in dire need. Through the dedication of their exceptional teams and the generosity of their donors, NWAA continues to make a profound impact on communities throughout the North West.

As part of its anniversary campaign, NWAA is calling out for case studies like Gary’s to highlight their vital work within the region. If you have been impacted by the charity, add your details here https://nwaa25.org.uk.

To donate or find out more about the charity, visit the website here.

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