A NATIONAL documentary will feature the story of a teenager who suffered a severe wound to his knee after falling off a cliff in South Shields.
Robbie Drew, 15, fell 20ft onto rocks at Manhaven Bay, South Shields after the ground gave way beneath his feet on 2 August 2018.
His story is featured on Emergency Helicopter Medics on More4 on Sunday at 9pm.
The series follows the work of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), the charity which treated Robbie following the incident.
Despite his injuries, Robbie managed to call his mum Lizzy Stavers from his mobile and her and Robbie’s dad Neil Drew drove down to the clifftop from their home in South Shields.
She said: “He said ‘Mam I’m so sorry. I’ve cut my leg, you’ve got to come.
“We were absolutely frantic, and we could see the air ambulance, and Neil said it must be for Robbie, but I thought it can’t be he’s only cut his leg. We parked up and got a first aid kit out of the car and ran down the steps onto the bay. You could see Robbie perched on a rock, and the rocks were really slippy so we were scurrying across and Neil got to Robbie first. I remember Neil taking a towel off Robbie’s leg and turning around and looking at me like oh it’s bad”.
The GNAAS paramedic and doctor team arrived on scene and worked alongside the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade to assess and treat Robbie.
Miss Stavers said: “I remember the doctor and paramedic coming down the steps in orange. The doctor gave him some ketamine and then we had to carry him safely off the rocks. He scratched all his back and chest and degloved his leg, but thankfully no broken bones.”
Robbie was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle by a NEAS road crew, where his leg was stitched up and he had a skin graft.
He left hospital after two weeks and managed to get back on the football field just four months later.
Miss Stavers said: “He’s been left with horrendous scarring as there was a big indentation, but the reconstruction looks great and it hasn’t knocked his confidence. At the time there was talk that he could possibly lose his leg, but now he’s back playing football. So it’s a really happy ending.
“Robbie would have been in a lot more pain and discomfort if GNAAS weren’t there. The expertise on board meant they could administer the medication he needed, and we’re so grateful for them. The care, professionalism and dedication they gave to Robbie was great and we can’t thank them enough.”
GNAAS relies on public donations to keep flying. Last year the charity needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.