A MAN who was thrown from his motorbike after a serious crash has personally thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for saving his life.
Mick Jewitt, 62, was motorcycling with two friends on Stanhope Road near Middleton-in-Teesdale, when another motorcyclist travelling in the opposite direction collided into him on July 17 2016.
Mr Jewitt, from Newcastle upon Tyne, seriously injured the lower part of his body and sustained two broken legs, three broken ribs and a fractured back.
Recalling the incident, Mr Jewitt said: “I can remember coming over the top of a hill and seeing the other biker facing me. There was no way I would have been able to avoid him and he hit me square on. As I was flying through the air I thought ‘this is going to hurt’ and then I landed hard on the ground.
“I tried to move but something felt bad. I then noticed the back wheel of my bike was on my arm so I asked my friend to pull the bike off me.”
Initially police and fire crews attended the scene, but once they realised the extent of Mr Jewitt’s injuries, they requested the help of GNAAS.
GNAAS doctor Andy Barrington said: “Mick had lost a lot of blood and due to previous health issues, he was also on warfarin, which is a blood thinner, so it was vital that we carried out a red cell blood transfusion. We administered a unit of blood and also gave him strong pain relief, as well as treating two open femur fractures.”
Mr Jewitt was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he spent two weeks before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for a further two weeks.
He had to wear a brace for a couple of months and currently has pins and screws in his legs and screws in his hips.
Since the accident, Mr Jewitt has gotten engaged to his partner of 14 years, Helen Sharkey, 46, and they are getting married in September. To celebrate, the couple are holding a party for their friends and family and have noted on the invites that instead of presents they would like people to give donations to GNAAS.
Miss Sharkey said: “We know that Mick wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for GNAAS. We’ve watched them on TV and seen what they do, but you don’t realise how fantastic this service is until you’ve experienced it. We are so thankful for everything they’ve done.”
Despite the seriousness of the crash, this hasn’t put Mr Jewitt off riding a motorcycle. He now has a new bike and has already ridden 500 miles on it.
GNAAS relies on donations to survive. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to keep flying in the region. To support the charity, please call 01325-487263 or visit www.gnaas.com