Grandfather remaining optimistic despite losing leg in motorcycle collision

A grandfather who lost his leg after a horrific motorcycle collision is still optimistic following the incident.

Malcolm Tierney, 73, from Gateshead, had been riding his motorbike in Consett, County Durham, on 22 June, when he was involved in a collision with a car on the A692.

The emergency services were called and the team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), who monitor 999 calls from the North East and North West, used a system called GoodSAM (Smartphone Activated Medics) to determine the severity of the incident.

GoodSAM allows the team to send a text message to the 999 caller’s phone, which gives them access to their smartphone camera so they can get a live look at the nature and extent of injuries sustained by a patient.

GNAAS paramedic John Kirton said: “It can sometimes be difficult to describe injuries over the phone, so we used GoodSAM to view Malcolm’s leg injury and recognised this was a limb-threatening injury that needed urgent manipulation which would require sedation.

“Two doctors and I were flown to the scene in 15 minutes, and we worked alongside the North East Ambulance Service to assess and treat Malcom’s injuries before flying him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.”

Mr Tierney said: “I was in an unbelievable amount of pain, and I remember hearing a loud noise and I wondered what it was, and then I realised it was a helicopter. The team from the air ambulance gave me ketamine to help with the pain and I felt like I was in another world.”

Mr Tierney, who has been riding motorcycles for most of his life, was given the devastating news that he would likely need to have part of his leg amputated.

He said: “I can remember the surgeon saying it’s a real mess, we can do this we can do that, but in a couple of weeks’ time it might get infected and basically, you’d be better off chopping it off like a sirloin steak. I can remember saying take it off where the flesh is good, so there’s no chance of reinfection. There’s about four inches below my knee, so still a canny 20 inches.”

Despite the setback of losing part of his leg, Mr Tierney is trying to remain positive and adjust to his new life.

He said: “There’s no point in grieving, you just have to plod on and get on with it.

“I’m managing to get out of bed and moving around so I’m doing pretty good in that sense. I try to look at the positives, anything can happen so I’m just taking it one day at a time.

“The team from GNAAS saved my life by getting me away from the accident. I can’t thank them enough, I’m still here.”

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