A MAN who broke his leg in a freak accident will take part in this year’s Great North Run in aid of the charity who flew to help him.
This week, Richard Coates, 40, from Normanby, Middlesbrough, visited the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) airbase at Durham Tees Valley Airport where he was reunited with paramedic Colin Clark, who treated him on the day of the accident.
Mr Coates was out walking his dog on Eston Hills in November 2008, when his foot slipped into a rut, fracturing his leg.
Mr Coates’ mother was on hand to contact the emergency services and the North East Ambulance Service then despatched GNAAS to the scene because it was an area inaccessible by road.
He said: “I just slipped. It was painful. I could see my leg wasn’t straight. I looked again and I started shaking.
“I would have been in bother if I had been there longer. I was in water, my mum couldn’t move me and there was no-one there at the time.”
GNAAS treated Mr Coates and then airlifted him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he spent six days. He had a metal plate placed in his leg and returned to work five months later.
Mr Coates who works at Huntsman in Seal Sands has now recovered fully and later this year will run the Great North Run to raise money for GNAAS, which is dependent on public donations to survive.
He said: “GNAAS were absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t thank them enough. I am looking forward to supporting such a brilliant service.”
The Great North Run takes place on Sunday September 11 and Mr Coates will be one of 57,000 people to take part in the event, which starts in Newcastle.
GNAAS has a few remaining places left for the run. Places can be secured with a non-refundable £53 deposit and a pledge to raise an additional £300.
To sign up today, visit www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk/fundraise/challenges/gnr