Episode 13 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 13

Rav Wilding presents the series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A rap artist thrown from a speeding car fights for his life - and only Helimed 99 can save him.


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Transcript


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If you are seriously ill or critically injured, every second counts

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especially if you're up high or off the beaten track.

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But, thanks to these guys, the people of the UK's biggest county

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are never more than 10 minutes away from a hospital.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance can do 150 miles an hour

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and, every day, brings a new life or death emergency.

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Five million people depend on these yellow helicopters

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to bring life-saving care from the skies.

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When a multiple pile-up closes Britain's highest motorway,

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or there's an accident on the shop floor,

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the highly-trained pilots and paramedics of the Helimed team are there to rescue the casualties.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes...

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a car passenger is catapulted into mid-air at 70 miles an hour.

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Can the team save him?

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Definite head injury. Pupils have blown one after the other.

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Helimed 99 is scrambled to racing country

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after a jockey is hurt in a training accident.

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Open your eyes for me, sweetheart.

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In the Peaks, a mountain biker is bleeding badly.

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He went absolutely white.

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And the team is called to a motorway shunt, and not all the casualties are human.

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Everyone knows that wearing a seatbelt can save your life

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and being ejected from a moving car is invariably fatal.

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For rap artists, an appearance on DJ Tim Westwood's Radio 1 show

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is a vital step on the stairway to stardom.

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And rapper Warren Suggett, aka DJ Shifty, has made it.

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HE RAPS

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But just a few weeks after this appearance,

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Warren is involved in a terrible accident.

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A car has gone off the A1 at Wetherby Services.

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It's gone down the embankment and through the barrier into the services' car park.

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We've got four casualties.

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There's a response car there and an ambulance.

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They've requested us for a head injury.

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The accident has happened at a service area on the A1 near Wetherby.

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The wrecked car has come to rest yards from the main car park.

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Grid reference is sierra, echo...

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Paramedic Darren Axe knows people thrown from cars at high speed have little chance of survival.

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On the A1, can't miss it.

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I know where it is.

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Warren is fighting for his life.

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His leg is broken and he's sustained a very serious head injury.

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One of them's sustained a head injury and a lowered level of consciousness.

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The more the team hear about the accident, the more serious it sounds.

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'Are you receiving?'

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Helimed 99. Pass your message. Over.

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'Helimed 99. Information with regards your patient.

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'Query cranial bleed. He's got dilated pupil.

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-'Query haemorrhage.'

-Roger.

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They're clearing the car park.

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Helimed 99. Roger, thanks, received. We're just about landing on scene.

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It's lunchtime and the service Station is packed.

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It will be a difficult landing.

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Pilot Chris has his work cut out.

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I just want to go round, guys, have a look where I can put her.

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The lamp posts are feet from his rotor blades.

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Have you got that sign at the side?

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I have, yeah.

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He's relying on Darren and paramedic Ben Anderson to be the eyes in the back of his head.

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-Two small trees here.

-Got them.

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Right over a car right now.

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We're clear of the stanchions to my rear.

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Close to this tree.

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I'm more worried about this side.

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But at last, Helimed 99 is down.

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Clear at the side, mate.

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Cheers, guys.

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Ground paramedics have already started working on Warren.

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He was thrown through the rear window of the car.

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Over there. Right over the fence.

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One eyewitness estimated it was at 100 mph.

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We're going to help you out of there.

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ETA, no less than, no later than 13:30, Ben.

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Yeah, we're ready, yeah.

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His pupils are wide open. Classic symptoms of a serious head injury.

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He's been ejected from the vehicle at high speed. Been found at the bottom

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of the banking. He's got a definite head injury.

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Pupils have blown, one after the other, so it's a definite

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head injury. Going to try and get him straight onto the LGI roof pad,

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basically. They've got neuroscientists at Leeds.

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Warren flew more than 40 metres through the air.

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The fact he's still alive, is little less than a miracle.

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-RADIO OPERATOR: You OK to talk, Ben?

-Yeah, fire away.

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I've given LGI the info

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and they've asked if there's any further injuries.

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Yeah, we have a fractured tib and fib as well.

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A life saving flight in helimed 99 is the best chance he has.

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Most patients are flown to the nearest hospital. In this case, that's Harrogate.

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But Warren's injuries are so serious,

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Darren and Ben want to fly him straight to specialists

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at the Regional Trauma Centre, Leeds General Infirmary.

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-99. Go ahead.

-There's no time to waste.

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LGI are happy to accept.

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INDISTINCT RADIO CHATTER

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Yeah. Roger, Dave. We've got a 20ish-year-old male. Pulse is 58.

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Saturation level is 94. 9-4.

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BP is 114 over 67. GCS is three, Dave.

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Paramedics rate the conditions of their patients

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on the Glasgow Coma Scale, or GCS. It goes up to 15.

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Warren's score is just three. Barely alive.

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-Right, I've started, guys.

-OK, mate. He's a bit brady, Ben.

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-Sorry?

-He's a bit brady.

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Warren's condition is deteriorating.

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Bradycardia is the medical term for a slow heartbeat.

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It could be due to internal bleeding or a brain injury.

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-You clear left?

-Clear right. Straight up.

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A difficult take-off follows every difficult landing.

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But Chris knows the lie of the land now.

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The accident happened less than 15 miles from Leeds. But it's still too far for Darren.

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His SATs are going down, Ben.

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His body isn't getting enough oxygen.

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Unless Darren can perform a complex medical procedure,

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his patient will die.

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Coming up: Darren's fight for his patient's life hits a serious setback.

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Just have to get this airway in, mate.

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A retired police officer finds himself co-ordinating a rescue operation for his friend.

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He's cold, he's pretty shocked, so we're going to secure him and hopefully get some fluids in him.

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And the motorist whose lucky escape astonished his rescuers.

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If you ride a horse, you're even more likely than a motorcyclist

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or a rock climber to be carried in the Yorkshire air ambulances.

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And no matter how professional you are, the risk is still there.

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The castle in the market town of Middleham, high in Wensleydale,

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was one home to King Richard III,

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the man who offered his kingdom for a horse.

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But there's no shortage of them now.

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This is racing country.

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And every morning, the local trainers exercise their thoroughbreds on the gallops.

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But today, there's been an accident.

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She's still there on the gallops. I've spoken to someone

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who's with her. They said she's screaming out in pain.

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She's still on the floor. It's a back injury.

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Helimed 98's on the case of an injured stable hand.

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And the route takes them over some of the highest hills in the dales.

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-Nearly two vectors above the high ground.

-No worries.

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Paramedics Tony Wilkes and James Vine know that jockeys

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can be very badly hurt. Even killed. They can be travelling at 40 mph.

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It could be serious head injuries, chest, pelvis, bones.

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Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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-You've got the group there.

-They've got the ambulance, yeah.

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For the pilot, this is a difficult rescue. The last thing he wants

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is the noise of helimed 98 to spook another horse into throwing its rider.

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Amanda was exercising a racehorse when she came off. She's in agony.

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-She hasn't got any...

-What's her name?

-Amanda.

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Hi, Amanda. It's James from the ambulance. How are you doing?

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-Just come down with me, Amanda. Nice and steady.

-Argh!

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-All right, sweetheart. Give me your other arm.

-No!

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Amanda was wearing a helmet, but she's showing some worrying signs.

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That's it, sweetheart. Good girl.

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SHE WHIMPERS

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Smashing.

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Right, Amanda. OK. Now where's it sore?

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Amanda? Open your eyes for me, sweetheart.

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Where's it sore at the moment?

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Just in your chest. Any pain in your neck, here?

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The horse trod on her arm,

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but it's her chest that most worries James and Tony.

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All right, Amanda. We'll just have a quick listen to your chest, sweetheart.

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Excuse me, Amanda.

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She won't open her eyes and she seems confused.

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Falling six feet from a fully grown horse can cause a head injury regardless of a helmet.

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The assistant trainer at the stables where she works reached Amanda first.

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She was coming up here and, you know the leather of the stirrup, it snapped.

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It's just an unfortunate accident. The horse didn't do anything wrong, she didn't do anything wrong.

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Amanda's been working with horses most of her life.

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She and around 60 other stable hands exercise the horses on The Gallops every day,

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but they also have to do all the other jobs

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like mucking out and grooming.

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I'll get this secured to her then I think we'll get her up.

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Just freezing now, isn't she?

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She's complaining of quite severe chest pain,

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in the centre of her chest, in the bone area.

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There's a possibility she could have fractured her sternum,

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a possibility she could have fractured a rib.

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Obviously there's the lungs lying beneath there,

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so possibility of some kind of lung damage as well.

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A blustery winds is blowing and their patient is getting cold.

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The team knows she must be checked out urgently in hospital

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and for Amanda, the results of those tests will be crucial.

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She's certainly got significant bruising and abrasions to her left arm.

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Coming up, has Amanda ridden her last winner?

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Hospital tests reveal her injuries.

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100 miles per hour, multiple rollover, ejected from the rear window...

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The fight to save an injured rapper begins,

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and the patient who's had an accident, but still found it was his lucky day.

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There's a number of things he could have hit and stopped quite suddenly.

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There's a big tree there, which he's managed to miss.

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OK, is there any serious bleeding?

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When you dial 999, chances are your heart's beating faster,

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your mind's racing and, frankly, you're not making much sense.

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It's up to a calm voice on this end of the phone

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to get the vital information that the emergency services need.

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High in the Derbyshire Peak District, one call for help today was calmer than most.

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The man making it was an ex-copper, but the case is very serious.

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Mountain biker Trevor Bland

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has a potentially life-threatening injury.

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The brake lever of his bike has stabbed through his thigh

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and he's miles from the nearest road.

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Helimed 98, Yorkshire. We're airborne for south of Bakewell. Over.

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It's tricky to spot a cyclist in the depths of the Derbyshire countryside,

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but his friend made sure the Helimed team know he's there.

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So it should be just round the side of this ridge.

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The biker says he's going to make himself known to us, so...

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Is that someone in the field?

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-On the left.

-It is.

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-Is he with a bike?

-He's waving.

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There was so much blood pumping out of his leg,

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that cyclist Trevor Bland was convinced he had severed his main artery.

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Thanks ever so much for doing the big wave!

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Luckily, his mate Dave Hobson, a retired police superintendent,

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took control of the situation.

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I'm just going to have a feel at your pulse, Trevor.

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We're concerned it was like an artery, a really big one. It pumped, didn't it, Dave?

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-He's an ex-copper.

-Was it actually squirting?

-Yeah.

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-Pumping.

-Excellent. You stay absolutely still. You're doing a good job.

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We knew something was wrong,

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that it was quite a serious injury.

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He'd gone absolutely white,

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so when I saw it, I was really worried,

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so we did the best thing, I think, to dial 999. Yeah.

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I was fortunate that we had service on the phone!

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-HE LAUGHS

-But let's hope everything ends well.

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When you came off, did you have a helmet on?

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Oh, God, yeah. It's there.

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-Did you bang your head at all?

-No, no.

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-And he wasn't knocked out at all?

-No.

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Trevor and his friend David did exactly the right thing.

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They stopped the blood flowing by applying firm pressure.

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You just put pressure straight on.

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Fantastic! You couldn't have done a better job between the two of you.

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Brake levers on mountain bikes,

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although they're not sharp, they are pointy.

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When you hit them with some force with a fleshy part of the body,

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they'll often puncture the skin.

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That's what's happened here. But you saw how filthy it was.

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We can't really explore how deep it's gone.

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But potentially it's gone quite deep,

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and his mate says he's seen blood spurting so hard it hit him.

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That's got to be a sign that it's probably an arterial bleed.

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If Trevor had punctured his main artery,

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he could have bled to death in a matter of minutes.

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But it looks like he's been lucky.

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What we need to do is just nice and steady, ease the pressure off.

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Yeah.

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OK then.

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You don't have to look if you don't want to.

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-I'm not bothered about that.

-OK, well done.

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I'm not scared of blood.

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We're going to get this gentleman off the ground. He's had a nasty bleed.

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He's cold, he's pretty shocked, so we're going to secure him

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and hopefully get some fluids in him.

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Trevor is soon on his way to hospital,

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leaving his friend Dave stuck in the middle of nowhere with two bikes.

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"Can I just confirm why he needs me to...'

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BEEPING

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'Hello. Not a medical need. However, he is cold.

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'He has two bikes and two bags.

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'How old's your mate?'

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'55.'

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Sadly, queasy flyers often find lying down in the chopper

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brings another unwelcome symptom.

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'You feel sick? No? OK, great.

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'We're landing now.'

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At Sheffield Northern General Hospital,

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doctors discover Trevor was literally a fraction of an inch

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from almost certain death.

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The wound had missed his artery by a hair's breadth.

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But his close shave doesn't keep him out of the saddle for long.

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He tried out his bike again just three weeks after the accident.

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And now four months on, he's racing around like it never happened.

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I'd nicked the main artery,

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so if it had been another three or four millimetres over,

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then it might have been a different story.

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It probably would have been.

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We're not medically trained enough to be able to stop that one,

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but we knew to put the pressure on straightaway.

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Thankfully, Trevor hadn't severed his femoral artery.

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But it was a scary few minutes for him and Dave.

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He was saying, "You'll be all right", but his face weren't,

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and he was covered in blood.

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So I think he thought it was really, really serious as well.

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He tried to calm me down, "You'll be OK."

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But I thought that was it.

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Coming up, jockeys wait for news of a colleague injured in a nasty fall.

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'We have to presume the worst until proven otherwise at the moment.'

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And imagine walking away from this.

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One lucky driver did.

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Now let's return to the battle to save a young rapper

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who was thrown from a crashing car.

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Sadly, his chances of survival aren't good.

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Helimed 99 is racing towards hospital,

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carrying a critically ill patient.

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Rap DJ Warren Suggett was lucky to survive

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when he was hurled from a crashing car on the A1 in West Yorkshire.

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He has a serious head injury and his body is being starved of oxygen.

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'Am I OK to undo my harness for two minutes?

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-'You're free to move as you wish. Don't worry about that.'

-'Thanks.'

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Paramedic Darren Axe has little choice.

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He must intubate him in the air,

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putting an artificial airway down his windpipe.

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It's a difficult procedure, even on the ground.

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Warren's teeth are clamped shut.

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Darren must insert a tube down his nose and into his throat.

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All in the chopper's cramped cabin.

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'About three minutes.'

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"OK, mate, just trying to get this airway in."

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At last, they're on final approach to the Leeds General Infirmary.

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'99, are you receiving?'

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'I can see them, mate.

0:19:050:19:07

'Got 'em at the bottom of the ramp.'

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The trauma team is already on standby,

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but this is a fight the helimed team could still lose.

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Warren's condition is continuing to deteriorate.

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'I got here a bit faster than we intended, all right?'

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Darren's job is over. The surgeon's has just begun.

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Approximately 100mph multiple rollover,

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he ejected from the rear window,

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travelling approximately 40 metres onto the ground.

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The man who kept Warren alive is in no doubt how lucky he is

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to have reached hospital.

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He'd sustained a closed head injury,

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which was obvious from all the signs and symptoms that he was displaying.

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He'd also sustained quite a nasty shoulder injury,

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which had a lot of contusions to that.

0:19:560:19:59

And he'd got an open fracture of his lower leg.

0:19:590:20:03

The other injuries are secondary to the head injury

0:20:030:20:07

that we were dealing with, because that's the one

0:20:070:20:09

that will cause us all the problems in terms of maintaining an airway,

0:20:090:20:13

maintaining his breathing.

0:20:130:20:14

And maintaining any kind of level of consciousness

0:20:140:20:18

in that situation is virtually impossible.

0:20:180:20:20

Within the hour, Warren will be in an LGI operating theatre.

0:20:230:20:27

His mother has driven 50 miles to his bedside in a police patrol car.

0:20:290:20:33

Doctors have already warned her, his chances of survival are slim.

0:20:340:20:38

Coming up, rapper Warren is transferred to intensive care.

0:20:440:20:48

And why it's important to have luck on your side when things go wrong on the roads.

0:20:480:20:52

There's a big tree which he's managed to miss,

0:20:520:20:55

a wall he's managed to go over, and he's landed in a soft field.

0:20:550:20:58

Horse racing's not just a sport in North Yorkshire.

0:21:170:21:21

It's a serious business, employing thousands.

0:21:210:21:24

And when a jockey's hurt, many more people know it could have been them.

0:21:240:21:28

On the hills above the racing town of Middleham,

0:21:310:21:33

helimed 98 is about to take off on the 30-mile flight

0:21:330:21:36

to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough,

0:21:360:21:39

with another casualty of the biggest local industry.

0:21:390:21:42

Jockey Amanda Mackin is lucky to be alive after coming off

0:21:450:21:48

a galloping racehorse.

0:21:480:21:50

After hitting the ground at up to 40mph,

0:21:500:21:53

paramedics James and Tony feel

0:21:530:21:54

she may have sustained serious internal injuries.

0:21:540:21:57

Let's get in here out of the cold.

0:21:580:22:00

That's a blowy day for riding horses, isn't it?

0:22:000:22:03

It's not good. It's not good if you're falling off.

0:22:030:22:06

-I fell off it, landed on my back, but we were on the hill.

-Yeah.

0:22:060:22:11

So I rolled over and the horse came straight over the top of me.

0:22:110:22:15

Oh, dear. Let's have a finger here,

0:22:150:22:17

then we'll have another listen to your chest,

0:22:170:22:19

make sure everything's behaving itself.

0:22:190:22:22

And then we'll have a nice gentle plod up to James Cook,

0:22:220:22:25

and get you sorted, eh?

0:22:250:22:28

'This is helimed 98 Just en route for James Cook.

0:22:300:22:33

'Requesting clearance for this stop and onto James Cook.'

0:22:330:22:37

'She's got significant bruising and abrasions to her left arm.

0:22:380:22:42

'Also complaining of an awful lot of pain in her chest.'

0:22:420:22:45

'We tend to presume the worst until proven otherwise at the moment."

0:22:450:22:49

'She has got equal air entry in her chest at the moment,

0:22:490:22:52

'which is a good sign.

0:22:520:22:53

'We'll get her up to James Cook and let them do further investigations,

0:22:530:22:56

a chest x-ray, make sure there's no ribs broken,

0:22:560:22:58

'no underlying injuries to any of the organs.'

0:22:580:23:02

She's been complaining of pain in her chest.

0:23:020:23:04

Now she's about to undergo a series of x-rays and scans

0:23:040:23:09

to establish how serious her injuries are.

0:23:090:23:11

Back in Middleham,

0:23:160:23:17

Amanda's colleagues at trainer Mark Johnson's stables

0:23:170:23:20

can't afford to dwell on today's accident.

0:23:200:23:22

They know this is a dangerous job,

0:23:220:23:25

but as well as serious injuries, there are miraculous escapes.

0:23:250:23:29

Fortunately for Amanda, she's just had one.

0:23:290:23:32

After ten days off work, she's back at the stables,

0:23:320:23:37

initially just doing light duties, like mucking out and grooming.

0:23:370:23:41

But less than three weeks after her accident, she's out on the gallops.

0:23:410:23:45

This is Amanda just coming up now

0:23:460:23:48

to the position where the accident happened.

0:23:480:23:51

Just about now, her leather snapped and she came off underneath.

0:23:510:23:54

So they had horses behind her, trying to avoid her,

0:23:540:23:57

which could have also caused more injuries to her.

0:23:570:24:00

But fortunately, all the horses missed her

0:24:000:24:03

and she was able to get to the side of the gallop.

0:24:030:24:06

I felt my leg getting a bit longer,

0:24:060:24:08

and before I knew it I was on the floor.

0:24:080:24:11

And I remember being underneath and thinking that the horse was like...

0:24:110:24:15

I'm going, "This is going to hurt" as she came over the top of me.

0:24:150:24:18

I've got quite a high pain threshold, but that really did hurt.

0:24:180:24:22

Amanda only weighs 47 kilos,

0:24:220:24:25

so it's amazing that she didn't do more damage than she did.

0:24:250:24:29

It turned out it was all just sort of muscular really.

0:24:290:24:32

I'd hit the ground with such force,

0:24:320:24:35

and because I'm not very big as well,

0:24:350:24:37

my bones had just taken the full brunt of it.

0:24:370:24:40

So I was very lucky to escape with just a sore back

0:24:400:24:45

and just be off for the ten days, like I was.

0:24:450:24:48

Despite her painful bruises,

0:24:480:24:50

Amanda couldn't wait to get back in the saddle.

0:24:500:24:53

Although she does admit to a few nerves.

0:24:530:24:56

When I initially got on I was like, "Hm..."

0:24:560:24:58

Sort of a bit dubious, but once I sort of got going,

0:24:580:25:02

I was like, "Oh, I'm all right. Not so bad."

0:25:020:25:04

Yes, but I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.

0:25:040:25:08

But I was all right, really.

0:25:080:25:10

Coming up -

0:25:140:25:16

doctors deliver their verdict on the man seriously injured

0:25:160:25:19

after he was thrown from a speeding car.

0:25:190:25:22

A lot of things in life are all about luck,

0:25:260:25:29

including your chances of having an accident.

0:25:290:25:31

And every day the helimed team meet patients who've lost out in life's lottery,

0:25:310:25:36

only to discover they've got Lady Luck on their side after all.

0:25:360:25:39

The helimed team's Sheffield airbase has great motorway connections.

0:25:410:25:45

Both the M1 and M18 are within two minutes' flying time.

0:25:450:25:49

Which is a good thing for pilot, Tim Taylor.

0:25:490:25:52

-'This is the M18 now, isn't it? Yes.'

-'Yep.'

0:25:520:25:55

Today, Helimed 98's been scrambled to a shunt three minutes from base.

0:25:550:25:58

A people carrier's crashed and rolled over.

0:25:580:26:03

'Four people in the car.

0:26:030:26:05

'One person trapped. Could have head injuries.

0:26:050:26:08

'I've asked Leanne to ask the police

0:26:080:26:10

'if they can just shut it down both sides of the carriageway for us.'

0:26:100:26:14

'Got this fence on your right hand side.'

0:26:190:26:23

-'Yeah, and one on the nose.'

-'All good my side.'

0:26:230:26:25

'I'll take this bag here with me.'

0:26:250:26:28

Paramedic Paul Bradbury knows accidents like this

0:26:300:26:33

can lead to very severe injuries.

0:26:330:26:37

-60, 70 mph. Multiple roll-over.

-Yes.

0:26:370:26:40

Three people need hospital treatment,

0:26:400:26:43

but there's been one miraculous escape.

0:26:430:26:47

Saw the Picasso do four or five rolls,

0:26:470:26:49

then land up on the barrier.

0:26:490:26:50

Then I noticed a dog that had come out out of the Picasso,

0:26:500:26:53

running down the inside lane.

0:26:530:26:55

When you see a car rolling in front of you, it's not something that you see every day.

0:26:550:26:59

It was a bit of a shock really, to be honest.

0:26:590:27:02

Hello, mate. Just keep your head still for the time being

0:27:020:27:05

while I ask you one or two questions. Were you the passenger or driver?

0:27:050:27:09

Passenger, in the back.

0:27:090:27:10

What happened?

0:27:100:27:12

All I remember was we slowed down for some reason and then...

0:27:120:27:17

Bang! And the car just kept tumbling.

0:27:180:27:20

-All I remember was tumbling round and round and round.

-OK.

0:27:200:27:24

That was it.

0:27:240:27:25

Molly the Labrador didn't have the luxury of a seatbelt

0:27:260:27:29

and she was thrown out of the tumbling car.

0:27:290:27:32

Amazingly, she's escaped with a few bruises

0:27:320:27:35

and she looks in better shape than her owner.

0:27:350:27:37

The helimed team has to concentrate on human patients.

0:27:370:27:41

Back of your neck, how's that feel? That's all right?

0:27:410:27:43

So there'll be no check-up for Molly

0:27:430:27:45

until her owner can get her to a vet.

0:27:450:27:48

1, 2, 3, lift.

0:27:510:27:53

We're bringing in one male, 30 years of age.

0:27:530:27:56

Been involved in an RTC rollover. Approximately 70 miles an hour.

0:27:560:28:01

The human casualties of the crash

0:28:010:28:04

were almost as lucky as their canine companion.

0:28:040:28:06

The team want all of them to have check-ups in hospital

0:28:060:28:09

but none are showing signs of a serious injury.

0:28:090:28:13

The worst pain you've got, he said is just in your head.

0:28:130:28:16

Helimed 9, we're now lifting for Rotherham.

0:28:160:28:20

ETA will be 13.25, over.

0:28:200:28:23

Everyone in the car was released after hospital doctors confirmed

0:28:240:28:28

that there were no serious injuries.

0:28:280:28:30

Luck was certainly playing a part on the M18 today.

0:28:300:28:34

Molly and patient Ryan McCarrick have now been reunited,

0:28:380:28:43

amazed that neither were injured in their rollover smash.

0:28:430:28:47

Molly seems none the worse for her accident.

0:28:470:28:50

But she's still a bit worried about getting back into a car.

0:28:500:28:55

When it comes to surviving an accident, luck plays a part.

0:28:550:29:00

But what's more important

0:29:000:29:02

are the split-second decisions made by the air ambulance crew.

0:29:020:29:06

Today, the adrenalin's pumping.

0:29:080:29:11

A plane's put out a may day call.

0:29:110:29:12

We've got an ETA of about 20 minutes, over.

0:29:120:29:17

Roger, update from the police has come on.

0:29:170:29:20

It looks like the aircraft has crash-landed.

0:29:200:29:22

A fellow flyer in trouble means an extra sense of urgency

0:29:220:29:26

as these guys live with the same risks as their patient.

0:29:260:29:30

The information we've got is that

0:29:300:29:31

the people have walked away from this.

0:29:310:29:33

That may or may not be true.

0:29:330:29:35

They could have walked away and still potentially have serious injuries.

0:29:350:29:38

It's a first glimpse of the wrecked plane that cheers up the team.

0:29:380:29:42

The crew have indeed walked away after a bumpy landing.

0:29:420:29:46

We've got a visual with it at 11 o'clock.

0:29:460:29:49

In the middle of the field, nose down.

0:29:490:29:51

I've got a responder and coastguard

0:29:510:29:55

by 11 o'clock over the field.

0:29:550:29:57

The light plane had to make the forced landing

0:29:580:30:01

halfway through a pleasure flight.

0:30:010:30:03

The pilot is remarkably calm for a man who's just survived

0:30:030:30:06

every flyer's worst nightmare.

0:30:060:30:08

We set off from Fishburn about 8 o'clock,

0:30:080:30:11

towards Scarborough, just a run down the coast

0:30:110:30:14

and then back again to Fishburn.

0:30:140:30:16

I got as far as Scarborough, that was OK, on the way back,

0:30:160:30:19

the engine started missing.

0:30:190:30:21

I tried to land in this field

0:30:220:30:25

and I just made a bit of a mess of it, I think.

0:30:250:30:28

Modern aircraft engines are very reliable and failures are rare.

0:30:280:30:32

Pilots train for them but passengers don't.

0:30:320:30:36

We were flying down the coastline and we came past Whitby

0:30:360:30:39

and decided to come back on ourselves and head back to Durham.

0:30:390:30:42

As we were coming back over land,

0:30:420:30:44

the engine kind of became weaker and the propeller stopped and started.

0:30:440:30:50

Graham checked the fuel and all seemed to be OK but then

0:30:500:30:54

the engine was cutting out and at that point,

0:30:540:30:57

I think we both knew that we had to crash-land.

0:30:570:30:59

So we chose the biggest field and we came in just over the trees

0:30:590:31:05

and hit the ground quite sharpish.

0:31:050:31:07

The team know this could have been much worse.

0:31:070:31:10

The plane touched down in standing crops at more than 50 mph.

0:31:100:31:15

He brought it down reasonably safely and it's in one piece.

0:31:150:31:18

That's really about all I know. The crew both seem OK.

0:31:200:31:23

The doctors are with them now just checking them over, I believe.

0:31:230:31:26

Doctor Jez is glad his skills won't be needed today.

0:31:260:31:31

It's not clear exactly what's happened but it's clearly not landed

0:31:310:31:34

normally but there's not a massive amount of damage to the aircraft.

0:31:340:31:38

Both occupants are out of there and they're both fine.

0:31:380:31:41

Sammy and team know one mistake and it would have turned over,

0:31:410:31:44

trapping the occupants.

0:31:440:31:47

Whenever there's an aviation incident, particularly planes

0:31:470:31:50

that have come down or helicopters, it does make your heart beat

0:31:500:31:53

just that little bit faster because potentially you always imagine, what if?

0:31:530:31:58

But on this occasion, it was somebody else's misfortune.

0:31:580:32:02

As we landed, I expected it to keep going

0:32:020:32:04

but it was just a straight stop as it hit the ground.

0:32:040:32:09

He's obviously massively experienced, he's done well.

0:32:090:32:12

He's done brilliantly...

0:32:120:32:14

The pilot's done a great job.

0:32:140:32:16

Not just avoiding hedges and wires,

0:32:160:32:19

the manure heap could have made his day even worse!

0:32:190:32:23

He said that as we were coming down.

0:32:230:32:24

It would have been a really soft landing.

0:32:240:32:27

You'd still have been scrubbing!

0:32:270:32:29

It's an absolute beautiful day today.

0:32:290:32:31

It was a pleasure for us to fly, so when these guys took off this morning,

0:32:310:32:35

I'm sure their whole demeanour changed when they realised

0:32:350:32:38

they were going to have to make an emergency landing.

0:32:380:32:41

Fantastic that there doesn't appear to be any injuries.

0:32:410:32:44

Luck is a great thing to have on your side,

0:32:440:32:48

especially when you've just had a serious accident.

0:32:480:32:51

If you lose control of your car on the winding roads

0:32:510:32:54

of the Yorkshire Dales, there's no shortage of hazards to hit.

0:32:540:32:58

Today, luck was on the side of the driver of this car.

0:32:580:33:00

Normally for someone to be ejected from a car,

0:33:000:33:05

it either means that the vehicle's sustained such damage that the actual

0:33:050:33:09

mountings for the seatbelt have been pulled away.

0:33:090:33:13

Or more likely that a casualty hasn't had a seatbelt on

0:33:130:33:17

or not been restrained securely.

0:33:170:33:19

Particularly with this weather, it's very unlikely that that person

0:33:190:33:22

would have had a window down or a door opened.

0:33:220:33:27

So the chances are that they've gone

0:33:270:33:29

through a windscreen or one of the door windows, as well.

0:33:290:33:32

It's winter in North Yorkshire

0:33:320:33:35

and the roads about the village of Giggleswick are slippery.

0:33:350:33:38

It's not too good in the air either.

0:33:380:33:41

The weather is quite blustery today.

0:33:410:33:44

We're getting bounced about a little bit up here.

0:33:440:33:47

We're heading out to the west,

0:33:470:33:48

towards the west coast and that's where the worst of the weather is.

0:33:480:33:52

It may be a case that Ben and Chris in the front there

0:33:520:33:55

have to do a bit of navigating

0:33:550:33:58

to follow the valleys up to ensure we can get up to this location.

0:33:580:34:01

Driver James Mitton was at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza

0:34:010:34:05

when it left the road, cleared a dry-stone wall,

0:34:050:34:08

clipped a tree and then rolled several times.

0:34:080:34:12

How he came to be lying in the field is a mystery the team is too busy to

0:34:120:34:16

worry about right now.

0:34:160:34:19

Joe was the first on the scene.

0:34:190:34:21

We just found him in the field.

0:34:210:34:23

So he came through the wall,

0:34:230:34:24

fully-conscious when we got on the scene.

0:34:240:34:27

We felt he'd have a few more serious injuries. But it seems as though

0:34:270:34:32

the car hasn't rolled over him or caused him any injuries.

0:34:320:34:35

He seems to have flown out of one of the windows somewhere.

0:34:350:34:38

James's car is a write-off.

0:34:380:34:39

He's lucky he's not beyond repair.

0:34:390:34:42

It's largely thanks to the mud in which he landed.

0:34:420:34:45

Are you all right, mate?

0:34:450:34:46

Yeah.

0:34:460:34:47

What's your name?

0:34:470:34:49

James Mitton.

0:34:490:34:50

Where's it hurting?

0:34:500:34:51

In my lower back.

0:34:510:34:53

Dr Jez Purnell has seen too many lucky escapes to know that this one

0:34:530:34:58

may be too good to be true.

0:34:580:35:01

One, two, three, lift.

0:35:010:35:03

He was not in the car, whether he's crawled out himself afterwards

0:35:030:35:07

and doesn't remember it or whether he was ejected, I don't know. I suspect he was ejected.

0:35:070:35:12

He looks remarkably well, considering what's happened to him.

0:35:120:35:15

Have you any idea what speed you were doing?

0:35:150:35:17

I know it might seem a daft question.

0:35:170:35:20

I don't know.

0:35:200:35:21

Do you drive progressively?

0:35:210:35:22

Yeah, I do. Yeah.

0:35:220:35:25

You've just come into the field a fair way, that's all.

0:35:250:35:29

James is chatting with his rescuers

0:35:290:35:32

but he's hit the ground at high speed.

0:35:320:35:34

His vital signs are good but that might not last.

0:35:340:35:37

He wants to fly his patient to the trauma unit at the Leeds General Infirmary.

0:35:370:35:42

Hi, Darren, it's Jez.

0:35:420:35:44

I wonder if you'd accept a chap for us?

0:35:440:35:47

We're up near Skipton on the A65.

0:35:470:35:51

It's a guy who's come off the road into a field, he's come probably

0:35:510:35:55

about 100 yards from where he's left the road, he rolled it a few times.

0:35:550:35:59

James has driven his wrecked car for the last time.

0:35:590:36:03

But he seems remarkably unfazed by his escape.

0:36:030:36:06

Cold.

0:36:060:36:08

Cold?

0:36:080:36:09

Freezing.

0:36:090:36:10

It's going to get noisy now, James.

0:36:100:36:12

Not many passengers on Helimed 99 try to take an in-flight call,

0:36:140:36:19

even if it's from their other half.

0:36:190:36:22

I assume it's his wife that's phoning him up

0:36:220:36:24

to find out where he is. We can't really speak to her in here,

0:36:240:36:27

because she's not going to hear anything we're saying.

0:36:270:36:30

If we say he's on his way to LGI in a helicopter, she's obviously going to get quite concerned.

0:36:300:36:35

So we'll wait and let him speak to her himself.

0:36:350:36:38

I think she probably won't be so freaked out then.

0:36:380:36:40

James's car can top 150.

0:36:410:36:44

It will give Helimed 99 a run for its money.

0:36:440:36:47

But nothing else could deliver him to the LGI in less than 20 minutes

0:36:470:36:52

from the middle of the dales. It's finally time to phone home.

0:36:520:36:57

Ash?

0:36:570:36:58

Yeah, I'm at Leeds hospital, here.

0:37:000:37:02

I smashed me car up.

0:37:020:37:04

They're just taking me to check me over.

0:37:040:37:07

It's knackered, is car.

0:37:090:37:11

All right, I'll speak to you later, yes? All right.

0:37:110:37:17

Doctors here are used to seeing the effects of bad luck as well as good.

0:37:170:37:21

They won't be satisfied James is the luckiest driver on the roads

0:37:210:37:25

until they've completed a full set of tests.

0:37:250:37:29

Where's it hurting, mate?

0:37:290:37:30

-In me back.

-In your back?

0:37:300:37:32

And sure enough this escape isn't quite as painless

0:37:320:37:36

as it first appeared.

0:37:360:37:37

James has several invisible but serious injuries.

0:37:370:37:42

His lung is punctured.

0:37:420:37:44

And he's torn his oesophagus, the tube that leads into the stomach.

0:37:440:37:48

Both could have been fatal.

0:37:480:37:49

But within a few weeks, James is back on his feet

0:37:520:37:55

and visiting the Helimed team's headquarters.

0:37:550:37:58

I can remember coming out of Settle,

0:37:580:38:00

to the roundabout, through round the corners.

0:38:000:38:05

Then going through the last corners it's just a blank till I ended up

0:38:050:38:11

back in the field and somebody going, you'll be OK.

0:38:110:38:15

From... Well, just heard the air ambulance come

0:38:180:38:22

and then I can sort of really remember from there,

0:38:220:38:25

until I got to LGI.

0:38:250:38:27

The crash hasn't put him off fast cars though,

0:38:270:38:29

he's planning to buy another high-performance vehicle soon.

0:38:290:38:33

It was me pride and joy, yeah.

0:38:330:38:36

I'd worked for...24 years to get it.

0:38:360:38:41

I treated myself on my 40th birthday.

0:38:410:38:44

Then I went and did this to it,

0:38:440:38:47

which is unbelievable, really.

0:38:470:38:50

The patients who beat the odds thanks to the Helimed team.

0:38:520:38:56

Now, Warren Suggett was lucky to survive after a freak accident

0:38:560:38:59

on the A1 in North Yorkshire.

0:38:590:39:01

The Helimed team wasn't optimistic he'd live to leave hospital.

0:39:010:39:05

Let's find out what happened.

0:39:050:39:07

Thrown out of a fast-moving car, he landed on a grass verge.

0:39:070:39:11

But the impact left him with severe head injuries.

0:39:110:39:15

Motorists in the service area

0:39:150:39:18

where the accident happened won't forget what they saw.

0:39:180:39:21

Wheels started going everywhere, the bumpers came off, there were bits

0:39:210:39:26

and pieces of the car flying everywhere.

0:39:260:39:28

If flung it up in the air and it came down to land on the driver's back

0:39:280:39:31

quarter, which is when I saw Warren get actually thrown out of the car.

0:39:310:39:36

It was a horrific smash. The only thing I can equate it to

0:39:360:39:40

is something like a scene off the Matrix where there's big car smashes

0:39:400:39:45

or some Hollywood blockbuster.

0:39:450:39:46

It was just, you were stunned, really, for the first second.

0:39:460:39:49

Surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary

0:39:490:39:52

took four hours to relieve the pressure on Warren's brain.

0:39:520:39:56

Part of his skull was temporarily removed in a complex procedure.

0:39:560:40:00

His mother was rushed to his bedside.

0:40:000:40:03

People came to tell us about his injuries, prepare us for the worst,

0:40:030:40:09

really, before he went in, saying Warren might not make it.

0:40:090:40:12

Warren's family was warned he may be in a coma for the rest of his life.

0:40:120:40:17

But after just two weeks, he slowly regained consciousness.

0:40:170:40:21

The extent of his recovery has astonished doctors.

0:40:210:40:25

Alls I remember, I don't really remember it, just vaguely,

0:40:250:40:29

like coming off the edge of the bridge

0:40:290:40:31

and then I woke up in hospital,

0:40:310:40:33

a couple of weeks later, thinking to myself, where am I? Where am I?

0:40:330:40:38

And then I clocked the life support machine and everything

0:40:380:40:41

so then I knew. I was baffled because the bang on my head

0:40:410:40:44

and I was bleeding from my brain.

0:40:440:40:46

I had to get told off my mum and my brother and everyone what happened,

0:40:460:40:50

bit by bit, so I didn't have a nice reaction, do you know what I mean?

0:40:500:40:53

It didn't feel real though because I didn't wake up in any pain, either.

0:40:530:40:57

So I felt like I was in a dream. But then I was thinking to myself,

0:40:570:41:00

if I was in a dream why would I be thinking I was in a dream?

0:41:000:41:03

And I just started sending myself under.

0:41:030:41:05

But I'm alive and well now. Not well, but I'm alive.

0:41:050:41:09

Warren now has a long road to full recovery.

0:41:090:41:14

Warren isn't the Warren that we had before but it's early days.

0:41:140:41:19

It's only been six months since the crash.

0:41:190:41:21

And it can take anything up to two years.

0:41:210:41:26

So, there is a lot of time for progress.

0:41:260:41:29

HE RAPS

0:41:290:41:32

And part of Warren's recovery will be a return to rap.

0:41:360:41:40

He's already written a new song about his crash

0:41:400:41:42

and his remarkable escape.

0:41:420:41:44

When Helicopter Heroes comes back,

0:41:460:41:49

a disabled driver crashes his supercar.

0:41:490:41:52

And now the fire brigade must cut it apart.

0:41:520:41:56

He's basically gone from 70 to nothing straight into a tree.

0:41:560:41:59

The team fight to save a biker's badly injured leg.

0:41:590:42:02

He's done some quite severe damage to his foot and his pelvis.

0:42:020:42:06

On the road to the Dales, there's a serious accident.

0:42:060:42:09

Lady's gone over the handlebars and hit her head on the floor.

0:42:090:42:12

And a young visitor to a stately home needs help.

0:42:120:42:15

He was trying to get off the train and fell off backwards.

0:42:150:42:18

Rav Wilding presents the series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A rap artist thrown from a speeding car is fighting for his life - and only Helimed 99 can save him. And in North Yorkshire, a jockey needs help after falling from her horse.


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