"An update to my story"

About: Astley Ainslie Hospital Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Accident & Emergency Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Trauma & orthopaedics Scottish Ambulance Service Western General Hospital (Edinburgh)

(as the patient),

My injuries were severe - ruptured arteries (needed 30 units of blood); broken fibia, tibia, femur, pelvis, vertebrae; de-gloved muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons on right leg. It is no exaggeration to say that without a speedy ambulance arrival, I would have died at the scene (I did die at some point and had to be resuscitated). The police report stated that my leg had been severed, and again, the fast response was important in me keeping both my legs.

- that's not the full story either, because I was subsequently received by Accident & Emergency at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, transferred to a ventilator in Intensive Care for 5 days, and spent another 2 weeks there, with a succession of 12 operations by Vascular and Orthopaedic surgeons.

- after transfer to a ward (208), I was nursed back from the brink by really caring and capable nursing staff, while under the possibility of amputation. The orthopaedic surgeon (Mr Keenan) had pinned and nailed my fibia, knee, femur and pelvis - and was an excellent communicator, keeping me fully informed, contrary to what patients often say about surgeons! I was a further 6 weeks on the ward, was diagnosed with a pulmonary DVT, and lost 50 pounds in weight.

- during that time, I had X-ray and MRI scans, and was visited by physiotherapists, dieticians and orthotics staff, all of whom were excellent. But I must single out the physios, whose commitment, expertise and humanity I cannot praise highly enough. Their work continued with domiciliary physio when I got home, then physio sessions at the Western General, where I arrived on crutches and walked out without them after more than a year's treatment, including hydrotherapy.

- after discharge, I visited the SMART centre at Astley Ainsley hospital, who were most helpful in assessing my ability to drive, and advising me on options for vehicle modifications so that I could get back to driving, which I have successfully done.

- I applied for, and was granted (for 8 months) a Blue Badge from Edinburgh Council.

When I look back on the last 18 months, and see myself dying at the roadside, then look at the progress I have been able to make, I am eternally grateful to all who helped me get here - it couldn't have happened without the professionalism at each stage, and the coordination between all the different services.

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Responses

Response from Stuart Wilson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, NHS Lothian

This is an incredible story and I am pleased to hear you are recovering.

Thank you most sincerely for your kind words which I have passed on to the teams concerned. As you rightly say a serious incident of this nature involves a lot of people working together to the benefit of the patient and it is nice to hear a story where that has been recognised.

I wish you all the best on your ongoing recovery.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear luckybiker

thank you again for your feedback about your care from the Scottish Ambulance Service. It's great to see that your care through the whole NHS was seamless, and that you are making a good recovery from your very serious injuries.

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