Teenager's Tour de France nightmare to feature in new BBC series

A teenage boy who was run over by a support vehicle during last year’s Tour de Yorkshire will feature in a new BBC 1 television series.

Joe Lisle was watching the cycling spectacular with his family near their home in Ilkley when the accident happened.  The 14 year-old suffered a serious leg injury and had to be airlifted to hospital by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

His rescue is featured in an episode of Countryside 999, which follows the work of the emergency services in rural Britain.

Joe’s Mum Debbie said: “My husband is a massive cycling fan and we had been planning this day for months. We had family staying and we picked our spot not far from our house on Leeds Road to watch the Tour come through.

“Joe was standing on wooden patio chair to get a better view. The main peleton went through and just after the last cyclist Joe jumped off his chair and missed his footing and landed head first in the road.

“His cousin Tom managed to pull him out of the way of the oncoming support vehicles and saved his life, but his left leg was still in the road and one of the cars ran over his foot.

“It just happened so fast. Joe started screaming and I looked over and saw his leg. It was very traumatic.”

Two off-duty nurses and a doctor in the crowds who witnessed the accident rushed over to help Joe and an ambulance following the Tour was on scene in minutes.

But Joe, a Type 1 Diabetic, had suffered multiple foot fractures and a deep trauma injury and needed to get to hospital quickly. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance airlifted him to Leeds General Infirmary where he had a five-hour operation including significant plastic surgery.

“Within an hour of arriving Joe was having this major operation,” said Debbie who travelled in the helicopter with Joe. “Because he had lost so much flesh from the foot they had to take a big skin graft from his thigh and it has taken quite a while to fully recover.

“The Air Ambulance paramedics were just brilliant, so calm and reassuring, and they got us to the hospital in five minutes.

“Living where we do you quite often see the air ambulance going on to Ilkley Moor but it’s only when you need it yourself that you really appreciate the amazing service they provide.”

Joe, a pupil at Ilkley Grammar School, spent five days in hospital and has gone through a long and painful recovery, with frequent visits to the hospital skin team and lots of physiotherapy.

But, he was able to come off crutches just before Christmas and is looking forward to visiting Paris in July with his family to watch the finish of this year’s Tour de France.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance needs to raise £9,990 every day to keep its two helicopters in the air –  equivalent to £3.6 million a year.

Without any direct government funding, the only help the YAA receives is through the secondment of its paramedics from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Joe’s rescue will feature on Countryside 999 on Monday, February 23, at 11am on BBC1. The series follows the emergency services in rural Britain who negotiate huge distances, difficult terrain and often dreadful weather to care for and protect the public.