A Fifer has made an emotional journey to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance airbase to thank the crew who saved his life.
Jason Dale believes he wouldn’t be here today without the quick actions of the paramedics and he recently visited the airbase to say a special thank you.
The last thing Jason remembers was turning his motorcycle onto the road outside his Fife home with the intention of heading to Anstruther for a fish supper.
His memory has blocked out the horror of colliding with a car on a bend in the road minutes later, being catapulted over a 12 ft hedge and landing, smashed and bleeding, in a field 25 ft beyond the impact zone.
Seven days later, Jason regained consciousness in Ninewells Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
And after hearing of his ordeal and the life-threatening injuries he had sustained, Jason determined he would walk into Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance’s airbase and shake the hands of the crew that saved him and say ‘thank you’. A little over three months later – against all the odds – an emotional Jason did exactly that.
“I wanted to meet the guys whose speed and professionalism ensured I survived,” explained the 47-year-old operations manager with Wood Group.
“Without them I really believe I wouldn’t be here today – I owe them my life.”
Jason’s list of horrendous injuries which kept him in hospital for 11 weeks – several of them life-threatening in their own right – included: two broken knees; a bleed on the brain; fractured hip; broken pelvis; broken ribs; two shattered wrists; four spinal fractures; fractured shoulder joint; broken collar bone; fractured jaw; fractured eye socket; severed nerves in the left arm and snapped tendons in the left hand.
Jason said: “I know I’m lucky to have survived and the surgeon told me I was lucky to have been airlifted comfortably and quickly or the story might have been very different.”
John Pritchard, SCAA Lead Paramedic, was one of the crew who flew to Jason’s aid.
“It was a critical accident scene,” he said. “Jason had multiple injuries - several of them life-threatening - and our priority was to work with the two land ambulance crews at the scene to make sure he was stabilised and his most serious injuries managed for the flight to Dundee.
“We did feel there was a chance he wouldn’t make it - and if he did he would probably be left with complex physical and psychological problems.
“To see him walk into the base and shake his hand is just terrific,” said John. “It really gladdened our hearts. It’s a testament to the care and rehabilitation he has received, coupled with his sheer determination and commitment to get better.
“We were just one link in the chain of survival that day and it’s very humbling that Jason wanted to say his thanks in person.”
Jason’s amazing ongoing recovery means he will soon be able to travel to his native South Africa to see his first grandchild.
He said: “The little one will get a Grandad thanks to the team at SCAA. It is an unbelievable charity and I’m so glad they were available for me that terrible day. I am in no doubt I would simply have slipped away because of the extent of my injuries without them on my side.”