Eric Scaife, who was 74 at the time, was riding home on a country road from visiting his son in Castleford when he lost control of his vintage motorbike going at speed and was thrown 20ft down the road into a parked car.
Speaking of his incident, Eric said: “I was on my way home between Castleford and Leeds, but for some reason, I had turned off on another road that I don’t usually go on. Apparently, I had what was called a vacant episode and I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on when the incident happened.”
His body absorbed the impact of the crash and landed on the road, and he was left with multiple, serious injuries. A passer-by stopped to help and call the emergency services.
Due to the seriousness of his injuries, Yorkshire Air Ambulance was dispatched. On scene, they noticed that Eric’s blood pressure was alarmingly low and worked as fast as they could, giving him a blood transfusion on the scene to stabilise him.
As Eric was at risk of going into cardiac arrest, Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew decided to take Eric to the hospital via land ambulance and accompanied him on the journey to Leeds General Infirmary.
During the journey to the hospital, Eric went into cardiac arrest and YAA Paramedics worked hard to restart his heart. He was rushed into Resus in the A&E department where hospital staff took over the fight to save his life. It was a very close call.
“My son had been told it was best to have another 10 minutes with me as I wouldn’t last until morning. When you are told that, it was more serious than what I realised”, said Eric.
Tests revealed that Eric had broken his back, several ribs, and a knee and punctured his lung when he crashed his vintage bike. He spent two weeks in hospital and another 8 weeks in a care home.
Speaking of his recovery, Eric said: “It took me quite a few weeks to recover, I had difficulty getting up and down stairs.”
It wasn’t until after the incident that it was revealed that Eric had a serious bike incident four years prior and also ended up in Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s care. It was the second time that YAA came to Eric’s rescue.
Eric has since given up his motorbike and has taken up archery, walking and cycling which has helped with his rehabilitation.
“I only want to drive on the road if I consider myself to be safe on the road, I wouldn’t want to risk injuring anyone else through an incident caused by me”, he said.
Speaking of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Eric said: “They are amazing and one of my favourite charities. I cannot thank them enough for their help.”