A TRUCK driver involved in a horror smash has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for saving his life.
Robert Hogg, 46, from Spennymoor, County Durham was driving his truck at night down the A69 near Haydon Bridge, Northumberland when he had a “coughing fit” and collided with another truck on 4 November 2018.
He said: “I was delivering feed and I had what some people call man flu. About halfway through coughing I can’t remember anything, there was a bright light, then I woke up and I remember the roof was off the cab.”
A GNAAS doctor and paramedic arrived in a rapid response vehicle and worked alongside the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to assess and treat Mr Hogg’s injuries.
The incident occurred just weeks after GNAAS expanded its rapid response car service to include Sunday nights.
GNAAS paramedic Colin Clark said: “All the emergency services worked well together, freeing Robert from the wreckage of his cab in such a timely and controlled manner.
“This ensured he received advanced pre-hospital care from our critical care team and NEAS paramedics before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, the nearest major trauma centre.”
It took three days to remove all the shattered windscreen glass from Mr Hogg’s body and he sustained several injuries including lacerations to his arm and head, a collapsed lung, six broken ribs, swelling on the side of his head, a hematoma in his right leg, cuts on his stomach and three broken metatarsal bones. He is currently partially blind in his right eye but hopes it may heal over time.
He left hospital after two weeks and recently visited the GNAAS base at Durham Tees Valley Airport to thank Mr Clark for coming to his rescue.
Mr Hogg said: “If GNAAS weren’t there I might have died. These guys saved my life. The expertise and experience these guys have is so much more than the paramedics on a land ambulance.”
After the incident Mr Hogg’s brother Joe McKimm held a raffle draw and raised £300 for GNAAS.
He said: “You don’t realise how valuable they are, I can guarantee they saved my brother’s life, other people’s lives, they need donations and I would encourage everyone to donate to them, they don’t get enough credit.”
Last year GNAAS was called out 1062 times and needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.