A grandfather who lost his leg after a horrific motorcycle collision in County Durham is still optimistic following the incident.
The emergency services were called and the team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), who monitor 999 calls from the North East and North West, used a system called GoodSAM (Smartphone Activated Medics) to determine the severity of the incident.
GoodSAM allows the team to send a text message to the 999 caller’s phone, which gives them access to their smartphone camera so they can get a live look at the nature and extent of injuries sustained by a patient.
GNAAS paramedic John Kirton said: “It can sometimes be difficult to describe injuries over the phone, so we used GoodSAM to view Malcolm’s leg injury and recognised this was a limb-threatening injury that needed urgent manipulation which would require sedation.
“Two doctors and I were flown to the scene in 15 minutes, and we worked alongside the North East Ambulance Service to assess and treat Malcom’s injuries before flying him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.”
Mr Tierney said: “I was in an unbelievable amount of pain, and I remember hearing a loud noise and I wondered what it was, and then I realised it was a helicopter.
"The team from the air ambulance gave me ketamine to help with the pain and I felt like I was in another world.”
Mr Tierney, who has been riding motorcycles for most of his life, was given the devastating news that he would likely need to have part of his leg amputated.
He said: “I can remember the surgeon saying it’s a real mess, we can do this we can do that, but in a couple of weeks’ time it might get infected and basically, you’d be better off chopping it off like a sirloin steak.
"I can remember saying take it off where the flesh is good, so there’s no chance of reinfection. There’s about four inches below my knee, so still a canny 20 inches.”
Despite the setback of losing part of his leg, Mr Tierney is trying to remain positive and adjust to his new life.
He said: “There’s no point in grieving, you just have to plod on and get on with it.
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“I’m managing to get out of bed and moving around so I’m doing pretty good in that sense. I try to look at the positives, anything can happen so I’m just taking it one day at a time.
“The team from GNAAS saved my life by getting me away from the accident. I can’t thank them enough, I’m still here.”
GNAAS does not receive government funding and relies on donations to survive. To support GNAAS, text HEMS to 70270 to donate £10. Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is a charitably funded air ambulance service which provides life-saving care throughout the North East, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Isle of Man.
They operate two helicopters 365 days a year and also operate a night-time service in the North East and Cumbria on rapid response vehicles.
The aircraft cover an area of more than 8,000 square miles and on board are specialist doctors and paramedics who effectively bring the hospital to the patient.
The level of skill and expertise of the on-board team mean they respond to the most critically ill and injured people, giving them the best chance of survival.
GNAAS is a progressive organisation which has pioneered pre-hospital care in the region.
The latest techniques, equipment and drugs are constantly being evaluated to ensure the charity can provide the best care possible for their patients.
2022 marked the service providing 20 years of life-saving care. Throughout this time, they have responded to more than 23,500 incidents across the region, with road traffic collisions being the most frequent type of incident responded to by the team.
They do not receive Government funding and must therefore raise £8.5m a year through public donations to remain operational. For more information visit: https://www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk/ or follow @gnairambulance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok For press enquiries please email email@example.com or call 07554453494