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Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in Iden, East Sussex

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Jamie Cheshire
27 Sep 2012

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doesn’t just save lives, it gives patients the best chance and quality of survival and helps prevent permanent disability.

The care and treatment the doctor and critical care paramedic can provide at the scene of an accident or medical emergency is often crucial to the recovery a patient will make later on in hospital. Just ask Joe Addison.

He stunned the medics who airlifted him to hospital by walking un-aided less than three months after suffering limb-threatening injuries in a motocross accident at Iden.

He was about to mount a 30ft jump when a loose wire caused the engine of his 250cc machine to cut out.

The 32-year-old was forced to bale out and broke both his legs as he crashed to the ground.

Land paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and St John Ambulance were first on scene.

They then called in the helicopter which arrived within just 10 minutes, a journey that would have taken about 40 minutes by road.

Dr Neal Durge and critical care paramedic Jez Loseby administered strong painkillers and sedated Joe at the track-side.

They also re-set his fractured left femur and right tibia, fibia and ankle before airlifting him to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London.

He spent three weeks at the specialist hospital before he was allowed back home.

He was in a wheelchair and on crutches but by the time he visited the helicopter base on November 8th, 2011, he was walking un-aided.

Joe presented the charity with a cheque for £500 which was raised by fellow members of his motocross club.

He said: "It was brilliant to see the guys who helped me. They were amazing on the day, they really were. Hats off to them and I really cannot thank them enough.

"When I first saw them and stood up to shake their hands they were gobsmacked. They said they were expecting me to be in a wheelchair. They couldn’t believe I wasn’t even walking with crutches.”

Joe’s physiotherapist told him that in 20 years of doing her job she had never seen someone recover and back on their feet so quickly.

Dr Durge said: "It was good to see Joe because we rarely see the outcome of what we do. The last time we saw him he was clearly in a lot of pain.

"He was very grateful and even more so because the doctors at King’s told him our intervention had made a significant difference to his recovery which has been incredibly quick.”

Joe had finished an impressive fourth out of a field of about 40 riders in the first race and was lying second in his club championship at the time of his crash.

Despite missing the last three rounds, he still finished fourth in the overall standings and vowed to ride again.

He added: "If the accident had been caused by rider error I may have considered quitting but because it was the bike I can’t just stop doing something I love.

"Everyone thinks I’m crazy after the injuries I’ve suffered but I can’t stop. Motocross is like a disease.”

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