Owen Jenkinson had only just arrived on his family holiday when a freak accident left him fighting for his life.

The 11-year-old was playing in the caravan park near Craster, Northumberland when he was struck by the family's 4x4. Among many other injuries, he sustained two collapsed lungs and had to be anaesthetised on scene by our doctor and paramedic team.

The incident

Owen and his younger brother Alex had only just left the car to play on the field after arriving in Northumberland from their home in Rotherham. But as their father Ian Jenkinson was parking up, Owen was struck.

“We’re not really sure how Owen ended up where he ended up,” said Owen’s Dad, Ian. “We’ve asked on numerous occasions and we can’t get an answer, and I certainly don’t know, but he ended up under the passenger side front wheel. My wife Claire screamed at me to reverse the car away, which I did. We jumped out, had a look at him, he looked in a pretty bad way.”

The family rang for an ambulance and both the North East Ambulance Service and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) shortly afterwards.

The aftermath

The terrifying incident left Owen with six broken ribs, a broken collarbone, two collapsed lungs and other minor injuries.

He was placed in an induced coma by the our paramedic and doctor team. This is a treatment normally only performed in hospital, but because GNAAS carries a doctor onboard, our team are able to carry out the procedure on scene.

Owen was then flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where he stayed for six days.

GNAAS paramedic Gordon Ingram, who treated Owen, said: “Owen sustained life threatening injuries which without critical interventions provided by our GNAAS team, the outcome may have been a lot different.  Being able to provide those interventions, along with transport in the helicopter to definitive care at the major trauma centre ensured that Owen had all the steps in place that allowed for the best possible result.”

The recovery

“When he came around from his induced coma he said it was awesome that he’d been in a helicopter,” said Owen’s mum, Claire.

Owen has nearly recovered from the collision however he said that his lung strength isn’t 100 per cent yet and his collarbone hurts sometimes when he coughs.


To thank GNAAS for their help the family recently visited their base at Durham Tees Valley Airport to meet air crew paramedic Gordon who treated Owen and to donate £2,000 to the charity.

Ian said: “We didn’t realise how separately funded the air ambulance service was, I did think they must be funded partially by the NHS which is not the fact. But they worked together the NHS and this air ambulance service flawlessly, seamlessly, the treatment was second to none. They were really class.”

“GNAAS are cool,” Owen said. “My favourite part of the visit was going in the helicopter and putting the helmet on.”

Owen's story

Video play icon

Help us help more people like Owen

Without your support, we would not have been able to respond in Owen’s hour of need. Please consider making a donation today.

  • £5
  • £10
  • £15

Translate »