In a high-stakes episode of the acclaimed TV series ‘Helicopter ER,’ Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s critical care team (YAA) once again demonstrates their extraordinary medical expertise. This time, assisting Damian Galloway, a resilient 50-year-old motorcyclist who survived a traumatic road traffic accident on August 7th, 2022.
Damian was riding his motorbike at approximately 35 miles per hour when two cars in front suddenly executed an emergency stop just before a roundabout. Trapped and with nowhere to go, Damian collided with the back of one of the cars, catapulting him into the air before he landed on his back on the busy road.
Damian vividly remembers remaining conscious throughout the entire ordeal, a situation where maintaining composure is of paramount importance. An off-duty police officer, coincidentally present at the scene while en route with his family for an afternoon at the coast, promptly halted and stayed with Damian. He played a crucial role in keeping him composed, ensuring he remained still, holding his head in place, and promptly alerting the emergency services.
The Dispatcher at YAA’s Nostell Air Base in Wakefield swiftly deployed the helicopter, carrying paramedics Andy and Steve to the accident scene located just North of Malton along a major road leading to the Yorkshire Coast. Given the anticipated arrival time of over 30 minutes for the land ambulance, the helicopter’s remarkable speed played a pivotal role in ensuring a rapid response to Damian’s situation.
Arriving first at the scene, the experienced critical care crew immediately assessed Damian’s condition, harbouring concerns about his chest, abdomen, and the possibility of spinal complications. To alleviate his pain, morphine was administered at the scene. Thankfully, Damian’s commitment to safety by wearing the correct protective gear played a pivotal role in mitigating more severe injuries.
Damian, who works as a professional tennis coach, knows that accidents like this could have a devastating impact on his sporting career. After it was determined that he was stable, the decision was made to transport him to Scarborough Hospital by road.
Medical examinations later revealed that Damian had suffered five broken ribs and severe bruising, leading to a painful three-month recovery period. Despite the challenges he faced, Damian is immensely grateful to YAA for their swift response and to the off-duty police officer for his invaluable assistance in a moment of crisis.
Damian shared his thoughts on the incident, saying, “I can vividly recall every moment of my accident. I found myself lying on the curb, overwhelmed by panic, and fearing I had broken my back due to the excruciating pain. I am profoundly grateful to Yorkshire Air Ambulance; their swift response was absolutely instrumental on that day, and their dedication is truly incredible. I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the police officer who selflessly stopped to help. He had plans with his children, yet he played a key role in keeping me calm and collected during a daunting experience.
I am immensely indebted to everyone who came to my aid, and I consider myself fortunate that they were there for me. Today, when I venture out on my bike, even if it’s just a short trip to the shops, I ensure that I wear all my safety equipment. Sometimes, it may seem excessive for such a brief ride, but I’m acutely aware that many accidents occur within a few miles of your home, where you tend to be more familiar with the roads and might ride faster. My message to fellow riders is to take the time to prepare properly you never know what could happen on the road and it is better to be safe than sorry; I believe I’ve become a better and safer motorcyclist as a result.”
Also featured in the episode, set to air at 9pm on Friday 13th of October, are three gripping incidents, including Damian’s serious motorbike crash, an unfortunate DIY accident and a distressing incident in which an 87-year-old man on an electric bicycle was struck by a car, resulting in significant injuries.