Cyclist who came within 1mm of severing his spinal cord after a freak incident to appear on Helicopter ER

A cyclist from Southport who came within 1mm of severing his spinal cord after a freak incident at Gisburn Woods is set to appear on Helicopter ER next week.

Dale Newman was cycling with friends at Gisburn Forest, Lancashire when the tyres of his mountain bike skidded on the grass and he plunged into a ditch.

“I don’t remember how I lost control. My friend didn’t see the accident either as he was a good 30 seconds behind me, he just found me lying there”, said Dale.

Dale’s friend Andy attempted to call emergency services, but due to the remote area where Dale had his accident, there was no mobile phone signal. Andy walked Dale to a nearby barn where they found a group of cyclists, including an off duty midwife who looked after Dale whilst Andy went to find signal and guided the medics to their location.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was dispatched and after assessing Dale’s serious injuries, they decided to fly him to the nearest major trauma centre at Preston Royal Infirmary.

Tests revealed that Dale had severely fractured his neck (he had split his C1 and C2 and crushed a number of his thoracic vertebrae’s, he had fractured his sternum, collar bone and also bruised his heart. He was 1mm away from severing his spinal cord, which would have left him paralysed.

Dale was in hospital for 11 days and his recovery has been a slow and painful process, but he’s now back at work and now almost fully recovered.

“I’m incredibly lucky that I’m going to make a full recovery, and I’ve taken a decision to use that drive and do everything I can in life now”, he said.

The episode, which airs at 9pm on Channel Really on 8th June 2020, also features a high speed crash that led to a long battle to release a badly injured young driver, and a patient repeatedly punched in the chest after his rare heart condition forces the crew to deliver a bizarre treatment.

Helicopter ER is made by York-based Air Television who have won five Royal Television Society awards for their work on the compelling series.  You can catch up on any missed episodes for free on D Play:

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) serves 5million people across Yorkshire and carries out over 1,500 missions every year. The charity operates two, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.


For more information, please contact the Yorkshire Air Ambulance PR and Communications Officer Jessica McDonnell on  or 07384 517193