A CYCLING crash survivor has been reunited with the air ambulance service which came to his aid – and then saved the life of his late Mum who was hit by a bus in the centre of Stockton.
Robert Bryan, 49, from Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, was airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) on April 18, 2009, after falling from his mountain bike in Errington Wood, Redcar.
He was riding a route through the forest with his son, Gary, 24, and his nephew, Darran Ryan, 34, when he went up a 15ft ramp and fell from his bike, landing on rocks.
The fall left him with multiple serious injuries, including broken ribs, collapsed lungs and a cracked sternum. He later found that he had scarred his heart.
Gary Bryan, an electrician from Norton, said: “I witnessed my dad travelling through the air at about 10 to 12 feet, I was stunned and couldn’t believe what was going on.”
Robert was flown to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where he received treatment before he was discharged one week later.
Robert, also an Electrician, said: “I remember laying in the middle of the forest unable to move. I thought I was dying. The air ambulance came down and treated me and got me to James Cook hospital in no time.
“At hospital my chest was drained as fluid kept on building up inside of me. I believe if I hadn’t have had that done, I would have died.”
On December 4, 2014, Robert’s mother, Dorothy Bryan, from Norton, was hit by a bus on Stockton-on-Tees High Street which prompted the GNAAS aircrew to attend the incident.
She sustained life-threatening injuries to her head, chest and pelvis.
Robert said: “It was the worst thing in my life when I got the phone call about her accident.
“All that was going through my head was that I didn’t want her to die on the High Street, she didn’t deserve that.”
Dorothy was taken to hospital by road and received treatment from the GNAAS crew en-route. She spent three months in hospital before being discharged in February but sadly died one week later after suffering a heart attack and a stroke.
Robert said: “My mother was an absolute character. Everyone you spoke to knew her.”
Robert’s daughter, Emily Bryan, 20, said: “When I found out that she had died, I burst into tears and just felt totally heartbroken.
“I thank GNAAS so much, they gave me and my family more time with my loved ones. My dad would have died if it wasn’t for them.”
Robert visited the GNAAS airbase at Durham Tees Valley Airport to meet GNAAS paramedic, Andy Mawson, who treated his mother.
He said: “When I saw Andy I felt a little bit choked up, I didn’t know whether to kiss him or shake his hand for all he has done for me and my family.”