THE best friend of a man who was saved by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has paid tribute to paramedics by saying “not all heroes wear capes.”
Simon Robinson, 28, from Carlisle, has thanked GNAAS after his friend, Steven Higgins, was flown to hospital by the charity following a serious crash on the A66 near Penrith four years ago tomorrow (February 14).
Steven, 27, also from Carlisle, was a passenger in a van when it was involved in a head-on collision in 2013.
He suffered serious head trauma, a broken pelvis, hip and collar bone and the GNAAS trauma team put him into a medically induced coma at the roadside. This procedure would once only be carried out in hospital but as GNAAS carry specialist doctors as well as paramedics, it can now be performed on scene.
GNAAS doctor, Theo Weston said: “The procedure is used only in the most serious of cases, particularly when a patient has a serious head injury. It allows us to control a person’s breathing which is crucial for head trauma when it is vital that oxygen reaches the brain.”
He was then transferred to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he spent two weeks in intensive care and three months in hospital.
Simon, a mechanical engineer at Cavaghan and Grey in Carlisle, said: “Without GNAAS, he wouldn’t have made it.
“I have loads of respect for the crew. Not all heroes wear capes.
“We were always good friends but something like that brings you even closer together. It magnifies it.”
Now, the grateful friend has plans to tackle a half marathon in aid of the charity to raise funds in thanks. Simon will begin training for the Great North Run which takes place in September.
Steven who still suffers from long-lasting effects of the incident, such as fatigue and memory loss, said: “I was shocked to learn he was going to tackle the run but it’s spot on. I’m wishing him lots of luck.
“I would be dead without GNAAS. It’s a brilliant charity.”
He added: “I’m going to be Simon’s best man in May.”
The GNAAS has a limited number of Great North Run places available.