Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) continues to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to saving lives. In an episode of “Helicopter ER” scheduled for Friday night, (October 20th), viewers will witness the tense rescue mission of Arthur Jepson, a seasoned biker with over three decades of experience, who found himself in a life-threatening situation during a leisurely ride on his Honda Goldwing motorbike.
Originally from London, Arthur made Yorkshire his home nearly four decades ago, residing in the South Yorkshire village of Harlington, near Mexborough.
On a typical summer day in August 2022, Arthur was en route to a gathering with his fellow bikers at a local club in Sheffield, a regular occurrence in his weekly routine. Choosing a different, more scenic route and riding at a slower, more cautious pace, he approached a junction when a collision with a car abruptly threw him from his bike. This unfortunate accident resulted in significant injuries, leaving him stranded in the middle of the road.
As Arthur lay injured on the road, Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s efficient response came into play. While on a transit flight back to their Nostell Air Support Unit in Wakefield following another mission, the YAA dispatchers swiftly diverted the helicopter crew to the incident, just 16 miles away. On board was Dr Steve Rowe and Paramedic Tammy Williams, ready to respond to the call for help.
Within a mere six minutes of receiving the initial 999 call, the medical team were at the scene, where they found Arthur in need of immediate medical attention.
Arthur was in distress, complaining of a severe shoulder injury and a laceration on his lower leg. His condition was critical – marked by clammy, pale skin, and dizziness, along with alarmingly low blood pressure that put him at risk of shock. In response to his pain, IV pain relief was quickly administered on-site.
Arthur’s hearing impairment presented a challenge for the medical team. The noisy roadside environment made it difficult for him to clearly understand the team’s instructions and questions. Effective communication is essential in these critical moments to ensure patients fully grasp the treatments being administered, respond to queries from the medical crew, and find comfort during distressing situations.
The team’s tenacity paid off when they successfully located Arthur’s hearing aids, securely stored in his motorbike seat, significantly improving communication, which provided comfort to Authur, whose keen sense of humour soon shone through.
Once Arthur was stable and showing improvement in his blood pressure, it was deemed safe to transport him to Rotherham General Hospital by road ambulance, just a short 5-mile journey from the accident site.
Scans conducted at the hospital revealed a dislocated shoulder. Under general anaesthesia, a surgical team skilfully manipulated his shoulder back into place, followed by a strict course of physiotherapy to enhance his mobility.
Arthur’s fellow bikers, a tight-knit community, rallied to the scene with a trailer to recover his beloved motorcycle. With unwavering determination, Arthur is now working on restoring his cherished bike and dreams of reuniting with his biking group once again for adventures on the open road.
Reflecting on his ordeal, Arthur said, “When I came off my bike, the pain in my shoulder was my biggest concern. I distinctly remember the immense relief that washed over me when I saw the YAA team rushing to my aid; right then, I knew I was in safe hands! My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who played a part in saving me that day.”
Emphasising the importance of proper safety gear, he continued, “I can’t stress enough how thankful I am for having all my biking gear on. It’s not just equipment; it’s a lifeline, and I am utterly convinced it spared me from even more severe injuries. You know, that’s the stark reality of biking – when a mishap occurs, most motorists go home for their tea, but we find ourselves going into the hospital. I’m determined to repair my bike, and this accident won’t waver my determination to get back in the saddle. Biking is not just a pastime; it’s a profound passion that I hold dear.”
This incident isn’t the first time that the YAA has come to his aid following a motorcycling accident. In 2021, he had a similar mishap, falling from his bike approximately a quarter of a mile away from his recent accident site. Fortunately, in that instance, he suffered no major injuries, only serious bruising.