3rd June 2020
The second thing actor Alasdair Baker remembers about his accident is being put into a helicopter and seeing the estate where he lives get smaller and smaller as he took to the sky.
The first thing was seeing people crowded around him as he lay on his back on a neighbour’s lawn while experiencing the feeling he was going to die.
He had been treated at the scene by clinicians on board the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance for a severe break to his lower leg and ankle. So severe that he was told by his consultant that he could have lost his foot if he hadn’t arrived at hospital so quickly.
“I kept thinking, I’m dying, I’m dying, but when I recognised my house and estate below, I thought I was ok as it was the first lucid moment I’d had. I said to the doctor, ‘I’m not dying am I?’ and he said ‘no but you’ve been badly hurt’. I saw the fields for a few seconds and the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.”
Alasdair had been mowing his lawn at home in Spalding when, as he emptied out some grass, the world went dark. It is thought that he slipped over, broke an ankle and hit his head.
“It was like I was falling down a well, like Alice in Wonderland, and there was a ringing sound. Nothing made sense, said Alasdair.
Events from that point unfolded like a TV drama – but Alasdair doesn’t remember anything. His neighbour has filled in the blanks. He saw Alasdair, who had ‘walked’ on his broken leg, to his neighbour’s driveway, and then he saw the trail of blood leading back to where he had come from.
Alasdair then tried to walk across a lawn and was heading towards a main road. He was stopped by three of his neighbours who called an ambulance. At this point Alasdair’s neighbours had to keep him on the ground as he was determined to get moving.
Because he was being held down, paramedics who were first on scene, called the police. The arriving police officer thought there had been a burglary and ran into the house to confront a perpetrator.
It took a while for his neighbours to be able to explain what had happened. It was then that the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was called.
He can’t remember any of it and doesn’t know why he was trying to walk to the road, he can only assume it was a result of him hitting his head.
With support from Lincolnshire Police the pilot was able to land the helicopter at a nearby allotment. The crew carried out some clinical interventions before Alasdair was whisked to QMC in 17 minutes, a journey which on land would have taken an hour-and-a-half.
He had broken the tibia and fibula in his lower leg and two other bones in the ankle.
“I’m still trying to get my head around it, I don’t remember anything about how it happened,” said Alasdair. “It’s so weird how something so dramatic could be this black hole. One minute everything’s normal and the next you’re being scooped up from a god-awful mess and in my case, flown to this major trauma centre and given the best treatment at every stage.
“It’s amazing how it all works, the crew on the air ambulance and the speed in which they get to you, then the way they hand over to the medical staff at the hospital. I feel very lucky.
“From first hand, I now appreciate just what a wonderful charity Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance is and I know for sure that what was a bad situation for me was prevented from being something potentially much, much worse by the arrival of the Air Ambulance.”
Alasdair isn’t out of the woods as his injury was at a high risk of infection but he has had the stitches out and is recovering with his partner.
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