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Tragedy struck Lincolnshire lorry driver John one summer’s evening in June 2016 when he was hit by a lorry on the busy A1, suffering life-threatening injuries. He says he owes his life to the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance crew who were by his side within 20 minutes.

John, from Swaton, near Sleaford, remembers leaving the weighbridge near Ferry Bridge Services to join the A1 south, a journey he regularly undertook.  Sensing a fault with his lorry, John stopped on the hard shoulder near Blyth and stepped out of his cab to investigate. Unfortunately for him whilst he was walking around his lorry, he was struck by another truck travelling at considerable speed along the busy road.

Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was called and reached the scene of the incident in 20 minutes, compared to 52 minutes by road ambulance. The HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) doctor and paramedic acted swiftly as John had suffered head, spinal, chest and hand injuries including two punctured lungs as a result of multiple rib fractures.

Unconscious, John was gently placed within Lincs & Notts helicopter and he was airlifted to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, the hospital best equipped to treat John’s injuries.

John said “I don’t remember anything of the accident and the police had to tell me what had happened. They said that they could not believe I had survived, my injuries were so severe.”

John’s recovery took nearly 11 months. Eight years later he still suffers PTSD and still has problems with mobility in his shoulder which, due to the severity of the injuries, is inoperable.

He sums up by saying: “I firmly believe that without the intervention of the Air Ambulance I would have either died or suffered worse injuries than I did. I have the utmost respect for every member of the crew and am still to this day so very grateful.

“We were honoured to be invited to the new HQ a few years ago where we met various members of the team and watched demonstrations of various scenarios.”