A MAN has thanked the air ambulance paramedic who flew to his aid after a car knocked him over and left him paralysed from the chest down.
Roger Farwell, 72, was attending to his wife Janice, who had fallen down steps at the back of Billingham’s Boyes store, when two cars collided and one mounted the pavement before ploughing into him.
The car narrowly missed his daughter, Michelle Noble, and injured two more passers-by who had stopped to help Mrs Farwell who had broken her knee cap in the fall on November 16, 2013.
Mrs Noble raised the alarm. Ambulance crews, police and fire and rescue all rushed to the scene.
Mr Farwell said: “The last thing I can remember is someone saying ‘we need to get this car off him.’”
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was called into action and after treatment by the charity’s paramedic, Jane Peacock, Mr Farwell was flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in just 10 minutes.
The grandfather-of-three was induced into a coma for four days. He had suffered a fractured neck leaving him tetraplegic.
He spent six months in hospital and a further six months in rehabilitation at the Gateway in Middlesbrough. He then lived in temporary accommodation for eight months while changes were made to his house before he finally returned to his Billingham home in July 2015.
Now, Mr Farwell and his family have visited the GNAAS’ Durham Tees Valley Airport base to meet paramedic, Ms Peacock. The family also donated £5,000 to the cause during their reunion on January 20.
Mr Farwell said: “I have no memory of the air ambulance but I appreciate that they were there.
“It’s been a big change to my life, obviously I wish it hadn’t happened, but you just have to get on with it.”
Mrs Noble said: “We know how important GNAAS was in ensuring he received quick and appropriate care which possibly saved his life. It’s a brilliant charity.
“He was always a very active man so it’s made a dramatic difference to his life now but we don’t know if things could have been worse.”
Ms Peacock said: “It has been wonderful to meet Roger and his family again. We rely on support like this to be able to continue to provide life-saving care.”