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Hough on the Hill man thanks Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance for saving his life after horrific crash left him in a coma

An engineer who suffered horrific injuries in a motorcycle crash has thanked the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance for saving his life.

Andy Braybrook, 33, of Hough on the Hill, suffered two cardiac arrests, both his lungs collapsed and he had to undergo a blood transfusion following the accident on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Anwick. He was also left in a deep coma.

He was riding home with his brother, Chris, on their 600cc Honda CBRs, following a trip from Grantham to Tattershall. Riding through Anwick in the late afternoon on the A153 a vehicle suddenly turned across their path.

Andy Braybrook with his girlfriend Samantha. (43891100)
Andy Braybrook with his girlfriend Samantha. (43891100)

Andy said: "My brother braked heavily and squirmed into the gap the car had created on the left-hand side of the road, whereas I went right and did not have the same luck. I struck the rear quarter of the vehicle, directly in line with the rear alloy wheel. My brother recalls looking in his wing mirror to see me cartwheeling through the air as I travelled over the top of the car, over the bonnet and then come to a crumpled halt on the road."

Andy explained: "A passer-by notified the emergency services and before long my brother was shielding me from the down draught of the Air Ambulance helicopter, using his bike jacket to protect me from the crop dust and road grit.

"At the roadside I suffered two cardiac arrests and both of my lungs collapsed and started to fill with blood.I was in the deepest level of coma possible (stage 3). I also required a blood transfusion owing to the amount of blood I was losing through my top lip which had been the point of impact between myself and the vehicle.

"I have been told it took just 15 minutes to get me from the scene of the accident, five miles east of Sleaford, to QMC in Nottingham, a journey that would take a road-going ambulance a minimum of one hour 15 minutes. It is this speed, coupled with the expertise and capabilities of the air ambulance crew that saved my life.

"I spent the next nine months in hospital, six of which were spent in the specialist spinal unit in Sheffield. I was finally discharged from Grantham Hospital on December 22, 2017.

"I suffered a complete C5 - C7 spinal injury in the accident meaning I am paralysed from the armpits down with no movement or sensation from my chest down. I'm lucky to be able to move my arms with the level of injury I have sustained, but I have no real movement in my fingers. Again I am very lucky as the first two weeks I spent in QMC, doctors were preparing my family and my partner for the worst."

Andy Braybrook is getting used to life in an adapted home and driving a Motability car. (43891098)
Andy Braybrook is getting used to life in an adapted home and driving a Motability car. (43891098)

Andy says he has come a long way since his accident and is now looking for work after getting used to a life using a wheelchair, living in an adapted home and driving an adapted car.

"I have had a lightweight rigid frame chair from my local wheelchair services, and my home, which I had only just purchased three months prior to the accident, is becoming wheelchair accessible. I am waiting for building work to start on a downstairs wet room.

"The biggest recent progress has been in the form of an adapted vehicle which I have leased through the Motability scheme. It has a push/pull hand control for accelerator/brake, a tetra grip on the steering wheel that I don't even need to grip, just simply position my hand in, and an adapted control on my handbrake. Getting back on the road has done the world of good for my mental health as I have become a little more independent. I am looking at returning to work also now I have my adapted vehicle.

"I can't thank enough the crew and personnel involved with keeping the air ambulance operational. Not only did they save my life, but they stopped the world from pausing for my family and loved ones too. So please, please donate to this life-saving charity, as life as you know it, for you or your loved ones, can change in the twinkling of an eye."

A spokesperson for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance said: "The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance relies on donations and doesn’t receive any government funding for its day-to-day operations. Please donate at www.ambucopter.org.uk."

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