On August 14th, 2021, Benjamin Patel experienced a life-changing event when he was involved in a severe motorbike accident on Rues Lane, just off the A59, near Wharfedale. Paramedics from Yorkshire Air Ambulance played an indispensable role in his rescue, illustrating their unwavering commitment to saving lives.
Benjamin, a devoted British Army veteran from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), with 16 years of service, was off duty at the time of the accident. Riding his motorbike at approximately 60mph, he collided with a car that pulled out onto the road unexpectedly, resulting in a devastating impact that sent him flying from his bike and rendered him unconscious.
When Benjamin regained consciousness and awaited the arrival of emergency services, a passerby, who happened to be a nurse, provided crucial assistance by conducting basic CPR checks and offering essential comfort during this challenging ordeal. Benjamin has never crossed paths with this compassionate nurse again, but deeply appreciates the consolation she provided during that critical moment.
As Benjamin lay on the ground, he spotted the distinctive yellow helicopter of Yorkshire Air Ambulance overhead. The highly trained YAA crew promptly landed and provided immediate on-scene support while awaiting the arrival of the land ambulance. Pain relief was administered, and upon examination, it was evident that Benjamin had sustained serious injuries, including a broken wrist and extensive damage to his pelvis.
When the land ambulance crew arrived on the scene, it was determined that Benjamin should be transported by road to Leeds General Infirmary.
Upon arrival at hospital, he underwent intricate emergency surgery, where a plate, pins, and bolts were implanted to secure his pelvis. Benjamin faced the challenging prospect of non-weight bearing for 4 months – a stark contrast to his strict military lifestyle.
Throughout his recovery, Benjamin was fortunate to have the unwavering support of his girlfriend and both of their families. A downstairs living room at his sister-in-law’s home was adapted to meet his needs, and Benjamin was particularly grateful for the time spent in their home, with his young nieces, which strengthened their family bond.
While Benjamin has made progress in his recovery, surgeries are still in the planning stages to repair the damage to his wrist. The psychological scars of the accident continue to linger, manifesting as recurring nightmares and emotional challenges. Nevertheless, he maintains a deep sense of gratitude for the second chance at life afforded to him by Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Speaking of his accident, Benjamin said, “ I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my family, friends, and the compassionate nurse who helped me on the roadside. I am also deeply thankful to the paramedics at Yorkshire Air Ambulance for their swift response and life-saving care during my accident. They are an incredibly valuable emergency service and as a charity, they rely on the support of individual donors to keep doing what they do best. I am committed to doing my part to continue to raise funds and spread awareness to ensure that this essential service continues to thrive and save lives.”
Benjamin has already raised over £1850 to support YAA’s life-saving mission. Initially launching a Facebook Appeal during his time in hospital, raising £1200, and later as his injuries healed, he utilised his welding skills acquired during his service in the REME armed forces to create a custom BBQ, which he auctioned for £650, donating all the proceeds to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Benjamin was invited to the YAA’s Nostell Air Base in Wakefield, where he had the privilege of meeting the team of paramedics who came to his aid and presenting them with a large cheque for the funds he had raised.
HEMS Specialist Paramedic , said, “Benjamin’s experience highlights the critical importance of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s mission. We are here to provide rapid, life-saving care when it matters most. Benjamin was fortunate to be wearing protective equipment like his helmet and leathers; otherwise, his injuries could have been much worse. It’s a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and I am pleased to know he is recovering well.”