A CARLISLE man has paid personal thanks to the air ambulance paramedic which helped to save his life after a serious collision.
Kevin Phillips and his soon-to-be wife Siobhon Robinson, have had an emotional reunion with Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) paramedic Jamie Walsh who was called to the scene of the incident.
Kevin, 41, from Botcherby, Carlisle, was cycling on the A66 near Penruddock on June 6, when a van’s wing mirror clipped his right arm, sending him hurtling off his bike.
The father-of-four fractured his skull in several places, causing swelling and bleeding on his brain. He was put into a coma on the roadside by the GNAAS crew and flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he beat the odds of survival after being given 48 hours to live.
Now after months of recovery, Kevin, Siobhon and Siobhon’s father, Bob Robinson, have visited the charity’s Langwathby airbase to say a heartfelt thank you.
Siobhon, 26, said: “It was brilliant to meet someone who was there with him as obviously we’ve only seen the after-effects of the incident.
“It has changed our lives forever and we are just so grateful that GNAAS was there when we needed them.”
Kevin’s subsequent brain injury has affected his personality, damaged his hearing, taste and smell and caused short-term memory loss but the pair could not be more grateful for the initial care he received.
Siobhon said: “The injury’s effects could have been far worse if medics from the GNAAS had not treated Kevin so quickly.
“They didn’t expect him to make as good a recovery as he has. Everything is just a case of time.”
The couple, who had to postpone their wedding planned for July, are now getting wed in February and will be holding a collection in aid of GNAAS on the day.
Siobhon said: “It’s an amazing service. One which we didn’t realise was charity-led until we needed to call on them. It’s now very close to our heart.”
Jamie Walsh, GNAAS paramedic, said: “It was a pleasure to see Kevin, Siobhon and Bob at our airbase
“It is one of the best parts of what we do, seeing a patient at their most vulnerable state and then hearing about their journey to recovery. We wish them all the best for the wedding and future.”