Rav Wilding follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Helimed 99 is grounded by blizzards - but their patient is suffering a heart attack.
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If you're seriously ill or critically injured up here,
your life is in real danger.
He's complaining of severe pain.
Mid-30s, been ejected from a vehicle.
Hospital's an hour away by road,
and speed is the only thing that can save you.
Yeah, Roger, Helimed 99's on route to you, over.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and its highly-trained paramedics are scrambled 1,000 times a year.
-Tell me what's happened.
-A child was on the path, a wagon cut the corner and ran over him.
Many of its ex-military pilots flew the SAS into action.
That's not a suitable landing site. This one here is.
Welcome to the life-and-death world of the Helicopter Heroes.
Today on Helicopter Heroes...
A woman's fighting for her life,
but the chopper's grounded by a blizzard.
The snow is stopping us getting to the hospital. OK?
His baby's birth is only hours away,
but this father-to-be is dangerously ill.
His wife's pregnant. I just hope he's OK.
The driver who demolished a bus-stop.
He's hit the windscreen with his head.
Did you hear owt crack?
He retired on Friday.
And a new pensioner takes a fall.
And I begged him not to go. But it didn't make any difference!
Apart from the beauty,
what brings most people to live in the Yorkshire Dales is the solitude.
But when winter comes, the very remoteness of these valleys can be deadly.
It's November, and England's most famous dale
is struggling to cope with the big freeze.
Many roads in Wensleydale are blocked by snow.
And Helimed 99's been scrambled to fly a patient
to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Yeah, we've been requested to attend an elderly lady
up in Leyburn in North Yorkshire.
She's been diagnosed as having a heart attack.
So, with the land ambulance today, in this weather - it's really snowy and icy.
It'd take about an hour plus to get up to Middlesbrough.
So they've requested our attendance to take this lady up there.
Their patient is seriously ill. Her life's in real danger.
But drifts up to six feet deep are making travel all but impossible on minor roads,
and more snow is forecast.
But from 2,000 ft, the weathermen appear to have got it wrong.
-Beautiful and clear, isn't it?
-Clear as a bell, isn't it?
-A tropical -2(!).
The woman's being cared for in the back of an ambulance.
Its crew have driven to a landing site on the edge of town.
-I can't see that wire at all.
-I think it's going that way.
The ambulance crews are trained to identify
helicopter landing sites, and this is a good one.
It's perfect, apart from a telephone wire.
-Shall we come in? Yeah.
-Joyce is 90.
-She was at the Quakers' Meeting House this morning.
They were having a meeting. And she came over quite poorly.
Joyce Thompson's lived in Wensleydale for almost 90 years.
Its isolation is part of what she loves about the place.
Now, it's endangering her life.
Tony can see from the ECG print-out
that Joyce has had a massive heart attack.
-Get her into the aircraft. I mean, if people can walk up them...
..they can to do it or we can put a sheet under and lift her up.
I was looking at the ECG. It's a big anterior MI,
which basically affects the front part of the heart,
the main pumping chamber.
Saying that, she looks quite all right on it.
She's quite pain-free at the moment.
Her age is against her.
She desperately needs
to have the block blood vessels in her heart cleared out.
And the nearest place that can be done
is 40 miles away, in Middlesbrough.
-Have a good flight over here, did you, in this weather?
-Beautiful. Crystal clear.
Pilot Steve Cobb is used to taking some weather forecasts
with a pinch of salt.
There's no sign of more snow on the horizon.
We came this morning. The temperatures were quite low,
below -10, which can be a problem for us,
because we have to have anti-icing in the fuel below that temperature.
Fortunately, by mid-lunchtime it'd warmed up nicely.
So now it's about just a mere -6, so...everything's fine.
The sky's clear. We've had some early morning mist, but that's gone now.
It's a beautiful day for flying.
But as Helimed 99 takes off,
none of the crew know that they're about to experience
one of the most difficult flights of their careers.
A mission that could threaten the survival of their patient.
They say climbing's an addiction,
and there are many people in Pennine communities
who have moved hundreds of miles just to be close to a challenging rock face.
Others think nothing of driving into another county
just to tackle a difficult route.
Helimed 98's base in Sheffield is on the outskirts
of one of the UK's biggest industrial cities.
But it's just a few minutes' flying time
from the rock faces of the Pennines.
Crags like this have a deadly attraction for climbers,
and every year, dozens end up in hospital
after falls in this unforgiving landscape.
But today, one man needs medical help in an emergency
that's a mystery, even to him.
We believe we're going to a place just north of Hebden Bridge.
Somebody who's been climbing and is now fitting.
We've not been told if they've had a fall or a head injury.
It just seems unusual. And he's not known to be epileptic.
Because of his location, that's why the aircraft is involved.
Matthew Troilett felt unwell whilst on a ledge.
He quickly descended, and began talking incoherently.
Minutes later, he suffered a fit and lapsed into unconsciousness.
Matthew's mates called out mountain rescue,
and Al Day, a Helimed paramedic, turned out to help.
Now Helimed 98's on its way to the rock face near Hebden Bridge,
where Matt's been given first aid.
There are some small domestic cables. I'm not sure where they go.
-Yeah, I'm pretty sure.
-You can't see them yet, but they're under the overhang.
-If you look at the rocks.
-Oh, yeah. Good spot.
Paramedics Sammy Wills and Ben Anderson know these hills well.
But this case is about to stretch their skills to the limit.
When I got here, he was not feeling very well at all, really.
He'd not fallen or anything,
but he did have a pain in the back of his neck.
And he was vomiting.
Their patient's 38, and very fit.
His illness is a mystery.
Definitely not banged his head, or...?
-Or stumbled, or...?
-He was climbing...
But throughout the whole day...
He went to the ground like that, and went.
-Do we have any oxygen down here?
Can we just pop him on some anyway? If it IS some sort of neuro challenge.
Matthew's in a bad way.
He'd come out on one last climbing trip
before the birth of his second child.
He's not had a traumatic episode whatsoever. General unwell.
Matthew, can you remember what's happened to you?
-Yeah? OK. Can you describe to me how you felt?
-Cos you were able to tell your friend that you felt unwell.
-In what way?
-The back of my neck.
-The back of your neck.
Sammy's baffled by the cause of Matthew's collapse.
-Can I just confirm - have you banged your head today at all?
Have you had a heavy landing?
His symptoms don't seem to fit anything obvious.
No illnesses or passings-out during the week?
Do you suffer from migraines at all?
Matthew's case just gets more puzzling.
And has anything like this ever happened to you before?
Nothing whatsoever? OK.
Whatever's wrong with him, he needs to be seen by hospital doctors.
Now, you're laid on your side. If you want, just roll over and go onto your other side, would be great.
Well, I'd like you just away from the edge. OK?
I know, I know it's how you feel. But we'll just keep you safe.
Watch it going down here.
Getting Matt to the helicopter's not going to be easy.
But with Al Day's mountain rescue team on hand, it shouldn't take long.
Although it's only a steep, grassy slope,
it's quite slippy today after all the rain we've had.
So we're just putting a back-up rope on,
just to be certain that there's no slips.
Matt and his mates drove to this crag from their homes in Lancashire.
He knows his wife is about to give birth.
He's desperate to get home to Burnley.
-Over you go. Keep going, mate.
-Press your head down here, man.
Air ambulances must take patients to the nearest suitable hospital.
I believe at this time we'll be taking the patient to Huddersfield Royal. Over.
-Can I not go somewhere else?
-What's wrong with Huddersfield?
Sammy fears his condition may be very serious.
His symptoms could be signs of a brain haemorrhage.
Matt's worried about missing the impending birth.
Sammy's more concerned about his survival.
It doesn't matter how you've hurt yourself,
the first law of medicine is that all patients are treated the same.
But sometimes people are injured in ways that are all too avoidable.
Quite often, the Helimed team have no idea what to expect
when they're on their way to a job. And today is one of those days.
We'll let you know as soon as if we need 99. Over.
The team are heading to a car crash that's killed at least one person.
Already, the crew are preparing to send a second helicopter.
I'm not sure if there's more than one fatality,
or more than one seriously injured. So...
We're going to get on scene. We're only a few minutes away.
And if necessary, we'll get them over.
The crash has happened underneath a disused railway bridge.
It's a very tight spot for pilot Tim Taylor to land the helicopter.
-Crank your door open, Kate.
-Will do, mate.
If that's all right with you, please, yeah.
-Katie, you're good at that.
-I've cleared mine.
I don't think there's anybody on scene yet, Kate, apart from the police.
Terrible impact on the front side of the vehicle. Airbags and seat belts.
Everything's gone off, OK.
The car is barely recognisable after a high-speed and high-impact crash.
I think he's hit the bus shelter up there and then...
-It's bounced him off?
-There's a tyre up there.
I think this is where his head's impacted the screen there.
It looks like this chap's taken out the stone bus shelter.
The impact on his car's considerable.
There is a bull's-eye in the windshield
so he's obviously hit the windscreen with his head.
No witnesses to this,
just people arriving on scene pretty quickly.
He doesn't seem to have lost consciousness, remembers it all. Half his car's missing.
I came up to the bridge and there was just rubble
all in the road and I saw a car down there
so I just stopped and cos I'm a student nurse I decided
that there was no paramedics
and I didn't know if there was any medical help
so I went to see if I could do anything.
It's your worst nightmare, you come across it,
when you see something like that, you think it could be fatal.
There's nothing else you can do.
But despite this high-powered Audi having left the road,
demolished a bus shelter, hit the bridge and lost two wheels,
amazingly, the driver doesn't appear to be badly injured.
You can see where he's sat, there's blood up here where he cracked it.
Not the gate post.
It's a massive impact into a bus shelter,
part of the car's up the road under the bridge.
The rest of it has come to lie down here.
Luckily not come into contact with any other vehicles.
It's an Audi, it's a very well-made car and that's probably
the only reason this guy's still with us.
The police have started their investigation
but the paramedics and doctors have also been picking up clues
as to what may have happened.
His car's done what it's meant to do.
It's absorbed all the energy and his airbags have gone off.
At the moment, his injuries don't appear too bad.
The strength of this car has clearly saved the driver's life.
But it also makes it much harder work for the fire service to cut through.
It's quite amazing that his car's in such a mess
and he's in one piece, so he's a lucky chap.
It's now nearly an hour after the crash on this Sunday afternoon.
The accident has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The driver needs urgent tests in hospital
and it's a very short flight in Helimed 98.
ETA? About four minutes.
The driver's flown to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
Despite his car, a bus stop and a bridge being badly damaged,
the vehicle safety features have done their job well.
The driver wasn't badly injured.
Now, let's catch up on the case of Joyce,
the lady who had a heart attack in the middle of a Dales winter.
She's on her way to hospital
but the team are about to face a major setback.
High in Wensleydale, Helimed 99 is racing north to Middlesbrough
with a critically ill patient on board.
Retired teacher Joyce Thompson is 90 and lucky to be alive
after a massive heart attack.
Despite the snow that's blocking local roads,
the weather here is perfect. But that's about to change.
Cloudy over there.
Yeah, it's crazy, isn't it?
On the horizon, there's the snow the weathermen predicted.
It's late but much more extensive than forecast.
It's blocking their route to hospital
and the treatment Joyce desperately needs.
We're just newly at James Cook now. We're just flying down in a bit of a snowstorm.
Steve knows that if he's to reach Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital,
he's going to need a lot of luck and all of his skill.
We just have a little bit of snow down here
we're waiting for it to clear.
'Helimed 99, approve before continuing.'
They've no choice but to circle and wait for a gap in the blizzard.
We're going to struggle here, boys, getting round this little bit.
Closing in behind us somewhere.
Let's go a bit further on, a bit brighter.
-Are you OK, Joyce?
-You're tired, are you?
We're just deciding...this snow is reducing visibility a bit.
We can't get through it a minute so we're seeing if it's going to clear.
Steve knows the heavy snow just half a mile ahead of him
will not only rob him of sight of the ground, but could also ice up Helimed 99.
We have to make a decision here on what to do.
How are we fixed for putting it down somewhere where we can meet a land ambulance?
What about the airport? It's only a mile in the right direction,
away from the weather.
Five miles, apologies.
They know it's too late in the day to reach another hospital.
A break in the weather is Joyce's only chance.
99, the airfield is in sight.
But it's no good. Helimed 99 must abandon its mission
and divert to the safety of Teesside Airport.
We're just the markers passing now.
Is that the airport?
'The end of there. Can you see the edge of it?
-'To your right-hand side. If you can park down there, please?'
They've made their decision just in time. The snow's now so bad,
Steve has difficulty seeing the airport taxi way.
I think I have still got it underneath me.
-We'll go down here and have done with it.
OK, we've just landed at Teesside Airport.
There's snow showers stopping us getting to the hospital, OK?
So we've arranged for an ambulance to come pick you up.
Joyce's life could now depend on a ground transfer through the snow.
It may take time she doesn't have.
Coming up on Helicopter Heroes...
It looks like we're not going out tonight.
Joyce begins her road journey to treatment
but it's going to be agonisingly slow.
Remember Matthew? The climber taken ill in the Pennines.
Let's return to his rescue.
Matthew's symptoms are worrying. Sammy thinks he may have had a brain haemorrhage,
a bleed in his skull, which could kill him.
How long did the episode last for, with the mumbling
and the unusual words?
-One minute? OK.
They need to get him off to hospital quickly.
Air ambulance paramedic Al Day has joined the rescue
as part of the mountain rescue team.
We've come up here just to give the guys a hand getting him out
from a difficult spot under the crags on a very steep hillside.
So we've used a back rope, just to make sure everything was nice
and safe on the stretcher as we were bringing him out.
But it was fairly nice straightforward job, really.
The guys have done well.
While the team worry about Matthew's health,
he's worried about his wife.
She's at home in Burnley, heavily pregnant.
He was just doing a difficult boulder problem, exerting himself,
and just came down off it and suddenly said, "I feel...
"I don't feel too good." And that was it, collapsed.
His wife's pregnant.
Lifelong friend, so I just hope he's OK.
I'm glad these guys are here.
It's a strange one, but he's in the right hands. It's good.
You all right? Good lad.
All the symptoms, excruciating head and neck pain, vomiting,
fitting and a short black out point to a brain haemorrhage.
Pressure is building up inside his head all the time.
Matthew will soon be off the hillside and into hospital.
A scan is vital to see whether he has a life-threatening bleed inside his skull.
Matthew was transferred to the Leeds General Infirmary
where surgeons operated for four hours,
inserting metal coils into the damaged blood vessels in his head.
He survived but he knows he's been lucky.
It was just...
I thought I was going to die, to be honest. So...
I feel very lucky,
lucky to be here, to be honest.
Matthew's heavily pregnant wife, Lisa, is back in Lancashire
and he's still in Yorkshire, anxiously waiting for news.
She's been in labour for 70 hours, I think.
Yeah, I just want to be there. Just to give her a lift, do what I can.
-You just scared us all.
Two weeks later, and there's a new kid on the block.
This is Jake Henry, who's having a little smile and dream.
He was 8 lbs 3 and he's absolutely gorgeous and a very good baby.
Lisa was still in labour
as Matthew was being driven over to be with her.
He almost made it in time.
Ended up being rushed in for a Caesarean in the end.
Just desperately wanting to see Matt, really.
But as soon as I got out, I phoned him
and told him we had a little boy cos we didn't know what we were expecting.
I think we were about an hour away when I got a phone call from Lisa,
just saying that we'd had a little boy and...
..we both burst into tears.
So yeah, it was fantastic.
I thought he was going to die.
So to all be home,
and be reasonably well just two weeks later
is incredible, really.
We're just so grateful for everybody that helped.
Doing it yourself is one of the UK's most popular hobbies.
Problem is, it's also one of the most dangerous pastimes.
And every year, thousands of handymen and women
land themselves in hospital.
Every day, the Helimed team defy the DIY enthusiasts' worst enemy...
It's responsible for a lot of accidents,
especially those involving ladders.
Helimed 99 is on its way across the Pennines
to an accident in Lancashire.
If he's fallen from a height and landed on his chest,
he's likely to have sustained other injuries too.
But anything that includes any sort of loss of functionality
to his chest wall, broken ribs, fractured sternum, collapsed lungs,
all those things will impede his breathing and can be potentially life-threatening.
Flying Doctor Andy Poutney and the team are on their way
to a man who's fallen from the roof of a terraced house
in the village of Hurstwood near Burnley.
In the foothills of the Pennines, landing sites are in short supply
and Dr Andy and paramedic Darren have quite a journey to their patient.
Hello. How are we doing?
Steve Baldwin was trying to fix a leaky roof
when the ladder slipped and he fell 30 feet.
He initially fell on to his chest. Just had a quick listen,
he's diminished sounds on his right side.
He's pain all across his chest here from where he's fallen on to it.
He's badly injured his leg and the local ambulance crew
fear he may have a collapsed lung.
Hiya. You've got pain in your leg and your chest, is that right?
-Does your breathing feel worse than normal?
Just keep your head still for me. It just feels tight?
He landed on an edge here, on one of these edges.
Down on that side.
At the back? OK. When you did that, did you hear owt crack?
-I didn't hear nowt.
-You didn't hear owt? OK.
Neighbours heard Steve's cry as he fell.
He just slipped to this way and he went down there,
and hit his chest...
on that corner there.
-Any pain where I'm touching, Steve?
-None at all?
-No pain here in the top, no?
Steve's wife warned him not to climb up.
Especially not in his first week of retirement.
He retired on Friday, and he was helping my daughter
because my daughter's roof was leaking.
OK, mate, you just take nice, easy breaths, mate. Not big deep ones.
So he went up to try and fix the roof.
And I begged him not to go, but it didn't make any difference.
Doctor Andy wants to see exactly where the fall occurred.
Even small details can give a clue
as to the kind of injuries he may have suffered.
-He realised he was falling...
-..and tried to jump off the ladder.
-And he landed on that small wall.
-That high one there, yeah?
We've got significant concerns.
He's fallen a long way, he's got a lot of pain in his chest.
He's shifting a lot of air in and out of his chest, which is good,
it means the lungs haven't totally collapsed down.
He's also tender at the top bit of his abdomen,
particularly where the spleen is.
That can bleed and it stays within the capsule of the spleen,
and it suddenly just... They can decompensate very quickly
so we have to keep a close eye on that.
The team are playing it safe.
Steve's spine has been immobilised
and they're carefully monitoring his breathing and blood pressure.
A sudden drop could indicate internal bleeding.
Steve's going to be flown to hospital for scans and X-rays.
Any fall over six feet can be fatal, and he plunged five times that.
Dr Andy fears his patient's condition may be deteriorating.
It sounds like there's less air
moving into the right side of his chest than the left,
and that could indicate a collapse of the lung
or some blood in there.
But given it was down towards the bottom,
I'm concerned as to whether blood's collecting in the lungs.
These skies are unfamiliar to the Helimed team
who usually safeguard the other side of the Pennines.
But the trauma unit at Blackburn Hospital also covers
part of West Yorkshire, so pilot Steve knows the lie of the land.
-All right, Steve?
It looks like Steve's been lucky and tests in A&E confirm that.
Apart from a nasty gash in his leg,
most of his injuries are superficial.
He'll soon be home to resume his well-earned retirement.
There's a power tool for everything these days,
ready to tackle any DIY job at the touch of a button.
The trouble is, unless you let go, it will keep on working,
with sometimes painful results.
-Facial injuries inflicted by machinery, mate.
Details of the accident are sketchy,
but it happened near Kendal in the Lake District.
This grid they've given us is basically on top of the hill.
Pilot Tim Taylor keeps the chopper at low level
to try and offset a strong headwind.
-Six minutes, Steve.
-OK, John. That were like Alton Towers, that one!
Tom Green is a builder with 30 years' experience.
But when it comes to power tools,
even the most experienced operator can make a mistake.
-How are we doing, boss?
He went to work this morning, he's a builder,
and he was using a metal whizzer that apparently locked,
and kicked back into his face
and cut all his mouth around the front of his facial area.
Tom is stable, and the wound's been covered by a large bandage,
but his wife Gill is understandably worried.
'We only live up the road. He was working on a neighbour's house.'
This is the first time that anything like this has happened,
so, yeah, it's a bit of a shock, really.
We're going to get him out and settled on the aircraft.
He has a full thickness laceration to the top lip,
and may have damaged some teeth behind.
So we're just looking to try and get him
straight to the plastics or the Max-facs unit.
Obviously, he's somewhat unhappy with it all, and so would I be.
We've checked with Lancaster, which is relatively near to us
as the crow flies, as such, and they have Max-facs services there,
maxillofacial, so they'll be able to get him seen rapidly
'by a surgeon and get him fixed up.'
Just relax back, mate, if you can.
There's a little headrest behind you.
Still pain score nil?
The flight to Lancaster Hospital will take just over 10 minutes.
Out of here through the gap, anyway. We can track down that.
For the Helimed team, it's another patient transported
to expert care in the fastest possible time.
But for Tom, it's just the start of a long road to recovery.
Builder Tom didn't waste any time getting back to work.
But plastic surgery takes months, even years to heal.
Not days and weeks.
When the grinder went in my face, it went in the corner of my face,
from my nose, right in the corner and ran straight down.
Through both lips, and just to the edge of my chin.
And it was just completely wide open.
I've used a grinder 1,000 times and then...
I just thought, "Will they be able to put my face back together?"
Tom was in theatre for over an hour
while a team of surgeons battled to stitch his face back together.
The result was what he wanted,
but his love of food had to be put on hold.
I'd just have, like, mashed potato
and put it in the back of my mouth on one side with my finger.
For about a week or two.
And then I just started to pick up and get stronger,
and was able to have soup and things like that.
Even though Tom's physical scars have faded,
the memories of the accident remain imprinted in his brain.
When I picked the grinder up,
probably two weeks after I had the injury,
I started to wear a big face mask.
And just kept it well away from me,
and I never, ever use it at face height.
People who like water will tell you the best day of your life
is the day you take delivery of your first boat.
The second best day is the day you get rid of it,
because owning a boat entails so much hard work
keeping it shipshape, you barely have time to sail it.
Boating's not all about sipping gin and tonic.
Running aground on a mud bank is a constant risk.
And when happens, it's tempting to get on with a bit of marine DIY,
otherwise known as bottom scraping.
But today that's gone badly wrong.
This boat owner is trapped underneath its hull.
And it's airborne.
It's a boat-related incident, so it's on that river, is it?
-That's where I've marked it, near there.
Yeah, we've just been called to the south of Gainsborough
where a female's been involved in a boating accident
and gone underneath the boat,
and now has got some neck, head and back injuries.
The accident has happened on the River Trent,
very close to one of the Trent Valley power stations.
And that means problems for pilot Andy Lister.
Right, I have got some wires around, haven't I?
So we'll have to keep an eye on them.
I've got the ones crossing the river down to the right.
Andy wants to get the helicopter down as close as possible,
but he's surrounded by high-voltage pylons.
I've got a boat tied up on the side.
You have the wires right where we probably want to land.
I've got the big ones.
Big ones, set down there, set down there, and big ones there.
Do you want me to it put down in this field, and you hop over the fence?
More wires to negotiate first.
A specialist fire brigade river rescue team have already arrived
and are in the water trying to free the boat's owner.
We've sent members of our urban search and rescue team
with specialist equipment across to the boat.
The hidden dangers of this section of the River Trent
are well known to locals.
This is called the Martin Rack, and even though
when it's covered with water it is only about two-feet deep,
So, of course, both boats bottomed out.
As the Helimed paramedics arrive,
the river rescue team manage to pull
their patient out from under his cruiser.
He has crush injuries, a serious head wound, and is in great pain.
I noticed this guy in question was using the opportunity,
while the boat was out of water, to clean it.
It's literally sitting on its keel.
Then I just saw the boat flop over on its side.
MAN CRIES OUT IN PAIN
Paramedic Ben Anderson begins treating 51-year-old Steve Courtney.
Do you want it now?
He needs a special splint for his crushed pelvis.
Can you get me the pelvic splint out of the cupboard
and I'll meet you at the fence.
And morphine to kill the pain.
-We're giving him another five and then we'll have to ring.
Ben has given his patient the maximum amount
of morphine a paramedic can give.
But it still hasn't killed the pain.
But they have to get him off the river tow path
and on his way to hospital.
The fire brigade have thought ahead
and make the journey as easy as possible.
He'd been trapped for quite a while
underneath the boat.
The fire service has been able to release him.
We've given him the maximum amount of morphine we can.
We're getting permission for more.
'You've been authorised to give
'another ten milligram's of morphine if need be,
'authorised by Dr Reedy at Lincoln County. Over.'
We're allowed to give 20 milligram's of morphine autonomously.
Above and beyond that,
it's down to the discretion of the receiving hospital.
We can ask their permission. If they're happy with it,
they give us permission to give an extra dose of morphine.
He's had 30 milligrams and it's quieted him down now.
One of the things we have to watch out for
when giving that amount of morphine
is that his resps don't drop too much.
After an initial assessment in Lincoln,
Steve's injuries proved so serious,
he was transferred to a bone specialist in Nottingham.
-How are you?
-Good to see you.
Two months later, trauma surgeon Darren Ford has a progress report.
If one looks at the model here,
this part of your pelvis has been pulled apart
and has broken through the centre part here on the side.
Steve's pelvis is held together with bolts and plates.
They've done their job well.
The pelvic region itself is absolutely A1, so that's good news.
Been to see the physiotherapist for the first time,
they've given me some tortuous exercises to do.
But everything's looking really good
and if I can get rid of the pain coming through my foot
I'll be playing on the right wing next week.
So Steve is on the long walk to recovery,
but after all he's been through, you may not be surprised to hear
he's decided to sell his river cruiser.
Gardening is the UK's most popular form of DIY,
and mowing the lawn is the chore most likely to land you in hospital.
Today, Helimed 99 has been scrambled
to the victim of a gardening incident in North Yorkshire.
There's an ambulance by the house.
79 year old Joan Sidney is being cared for by a local ambulance crew.
Several of her fingers have been severed.
-How we doing?
-You all right?
-Not too bad. How are you lot?
-This is Joan.
-Explain what's happened.
-Hi, Joan, sweetheart.
-Joan's been doing her lawnmower.
-I've seen it in the garden.
She's got her hand in. She's cut into the hand.
I was going to cut mine tomorrow, but I'll give it a miss.
The paramedics are hoping surgeons can re-attach Joan's lost fingers.
They're now on ice.
The longer the fingers are detached,
the less chance they can be successfully re-implanted.
It looks like the lawnmower's cut through part of that wrist
so we need to go to James Cook up at Middlesbrough.
They've got clever doctors who'll probably be able to put it back on.
But there's problem. Helimed 99 is behind the locked gates
of a school sports field. They desperately need them opened.
We might have to do the lock on the door.
But the police have the answer.
The gate's up, sweetheart.
At last, Joan is on her way to hospital.
The lady had put her hand into a lawnmower and it severed the hand
so I was just trying to stop the bleeding and get her comfortable
in the trolley and try to get her sorted out for you guys.
Got the big trees to your left.
Plastic surgeons at the James Cook Hospital
in Middlesbrough are on standby.
Within minutes of her arrival, she's in the care of a surgeon.
Sadly, her fingers were too badly damaged to re-attach.
The good news is, Joan's thumb was saved.
I decided I'd spend the day gardening.
I'd almost completed the mowing.
I released the bit of grass
and the whole thing came round, quickly.
But thank God for the air ambulance.
Thank God for that.
The dangers of doing it yourself.
Let's get back to the story of Joyce,
the elderly lady whose heart attack came at the worst possible time,
in the snowbound Yorkshire Dales.
At Teesside Airport, Helimed 99's been forced down by a blizzard
that blocked its flight to hospital in Middlesbrough.
Get out the barbecue. Looks like we're not going out tonight.
90 year old Joyce Thompson has suffered a heart attack
and desperately needs surgery to relieve a blocked artery.
-But she's staying cheerful.
-Have you had your dinner?
-Not yet! I was just going to have it when this call came in.
You've got to have a certain degree
of visibility to move, but as you can see
there's nowhere to go at the moment.
-Have you got something for your head?
-I have. I've got a hat.
Now Joyce must endure a road journey to James Cook hospital
through an early rush hour created by the sudden blizzard.
Time is not on her side.
At least a land ambulance has arrived quickly.
-Hiya, mate. Thanks for coming.
This is Joyce, 90, no pain, no anaesthesia, she's not wanted any.
Although Joyce is remarkably stable, her rescuers know
her condition could deteriorate at any time.
Dear me, how disgraceful!
It's a good job it's misty.
It's a good job you're all gentlemen.
Swing your legs round.
Joyce is on her way to treatment at last.
James, Tony and Steve must seek shelter with the neighbours.
The Great North Air Ambulance has also been grounded,
which means the kettle's on.
I've been invited
into the Great North Air Ambulance operations room,
hoping the weather's going to clear.
We're just waiting, looking at the weather
and deciding what plan B is to get us home.
We don't know whether we'll be able to fly back,
or maybe a taxi, or maybe we'll be stuck up here.
The Helimed team pride themselves on getting through.
They may be smiling, but their thoughts are with their patient.
It's the next day by the time the weather's cleared sufficiently
for Helimed 99 to return to base.
Meanwhile, at James Cook Hospital,
Joyce is recovering after angioplasty,
a procedure to open out a blocked blood vessel in her heart.
And a few days later, she's back home in Wensleydale.
I was at a friend's meeting house. I'm a Quaker.
I was just sitting quietly, thinking about the poor souls
who'd fallen on the ice and hurt themselves.
One minute I'm thinking about people who've broken their femurs
and the next I'm poorly myself!
Joyce was a wartime WAF and she loves flying.
She won't be forgetting her flight in a hurry.
Looking out the window, it was like a greyish haze
with a few black marks here and there
where the fences and walls were for the fields.
I couldn't resist looking out until Tony pressed me down.
You'll let me know if you get any pain or anything, won't you?
'It was his kindly smile, an encouraging smile.
'I couldn't hear anything with these great what-nots on my ears.'
I felt confident. Actually, the whole way through, I felt puzzled.
It was a bit bewildering.
But I never had any doubt about where I was going.
It was only afterwards, when people stopped milling about,
I thought, "Ooh, I wonder..."
Despite the drawbacks of living in one of the UK's most remote valleys,
Joyce has no plans to move out of Wensleydale.
I'm delighted to tell you Joyce has now fully recovered
and is looking forward to another Dales' winter.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Rav Wilding follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Helimed 99 is grounded by blizzards - but their patient is suffering from a heart attack. An elderly gardener has a serious accident with a lawn mower.