Meet the motorcyclist who defied death thanks to roadside surgery from Magpas Air Ambulance

Adam-Shailer-with-Andy-Lindsay-Dan-Read.JPG

​If you were to meet 35 year old Adam Shailer, from near Peterborough, you’d understandably think he was just like any other dad of two; with a great sense of humour and an impressive ‘can do’ attitude. However, if you were told he is doing incredibly well after genuinely being as close to death as you can get, you might start to see him in a very different light!

In August 2016, Adam was riding his motorbike to work when it collided with a car. Adam fell off at high speed and was run over by the car. (He has no memory of the accident and the Police investigation found no-one to be at fault). When the Magpas Air Ambulance enhanced medical doctor and paramedic team got to him by helicopter, he was fighting for his life; lying on a grass verge and barely able to make a sound. Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Andy remembers Adam asking if he was going to make it and Dr Andy said “you are categorically not going to die”. However, Adam’s condition deteriorated very quickly and he soon became unconscious. His heart rate was only 20 beats per minute (essentially as low as it can get before someone dies) and blood pressure plummeted.

To give you an idea of just how seriously injured Adam was, he suffered: 18 broken ribs, a broken sternum, air in chest cavity, bruising and bleeding around his lungs, a lacerated liver and kidney, squashed bowel in 2x places. 9 fractures to his pelvis – in total it was broken into 29 pieces in what’s called an ‘open book’ pelvic fracture. A ureter was also nearly disconnected and one of his knees was completely broken. In order to save Adam’s life there and then, the Magpas team anaesthetised Adam (putting him in a chemically induced coma at the side of the road). Dr Andy and Paramedic Dan also performed a thoracostomy (a surgical incision to release air trapped in the chest cavity) on both sides of his chest. They then got him into a land ambulance and monitored his condition all the way to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Magpas Critical Care Paramedic Dan sums Adam’s situation up by saying; “Adam is the most sick person I have ever treated who has survived”. Dan goes on to say, “I’ll always remember the day of Adam’s incident. The EEAST Ambulance Service Paramedic Crew did an excellent job, but Adam also needed vital hospital level care there and then – Magpas Air Ambulance are here to deliver that to patients in their ultimate moment of need.”

Adam has since made a brilliant recovery and has spoken to The One Show on the BBC: . He explains, “How do you thank Magpas Air Ambulance? I don’t have the words, I couldn’t put a price on it! If I hadn’t been alive, the memory would have faded for my daughter and I don’t think my son would have had any memories of me”.

Adam’s wife Rachael sums up what this charity did, “Giving my children their Dad, giving me my husband…the best gift ever”.

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