The moment Dave came off his motorcycle landing on the concrete, his chest started filling with blood. He had minutes before his left lung would collapse and he would have suffocated. He fractured 90% of his ribs and injured his head.
Dave has been riding motorcycles for 39 years but this was the most severe accident he has ever had. “The first person I saw when I woke up in the hospital was a guy in London’s Air Ambulance uniform. We made eye contact and he said: ‘You’ll have to excuse me for saying this – I can’t believe I’m talking to you.’ He obviously didn’t think I was going to live,” says Dave
When Dave contacted the police officers who were the first at the scene of his injury, they were amazed to see him as well. “The Police found me on the floor face down, dripping with blood only a few weeks earlier. They told me that they thought my chances of surviving were 50:50 that day and could not believe I was standing in front of them - walking and talking.”
Above: Dave's Ducati before the crash
“I was very lucky. London’s Air Ambulance was by my side in minutes delivering what is essentially a mobile emergency unit with a doctor on board. Apparently, the pilot landed on a very narrow road on a windy day. And that must have been tricky. I later found out that a paramedic listens to 999 calls 24/7 in the London Ambulance Service control room and decides on London’s Air Ambulance’s dispatch. I was lucky that the person recognised the severity of my injuries and made a decision on my behalf. And finally, I was lucky that London’s Air Ambulance and their helicopter were available at all. It’s crazy to consider that until recently London only had one helicopter. The millions of people relying on it…”
There is another reason why Dave considers himself lucky. Stuck in the traffic jam his accident caused on the A316, Richmond were two off-duty doctors who rushed to the site. “The police told me that these two doctors probably saved London’s Air Ambulance some precious time by assessing my injuries. When London’s Air Ambulance arrived, one of them pointed out that my chest was the most imminent problem. And he was right – it would have been my chest that would have killed me first.”
“I have personally thanked everyone who helped save my life, apart from those two doctors. I have no idea who they are or how to find them, but I hope to have the chance to say thank you some day,” says Dave.