Family of Stoke trucker say their 'hearts have been ripped out' as he remains in coma after M5 crash
The family of a lorry driver from Stoke-on-Trent say their "hearts have been ripped out" as he remains in a coma following a crash on the M5 near Worcester.
Anthony Bates from Tunstall was stationary in his HGV when the collision involving four lorries happened on August 3.
Another lorry driver, 35, died at the scene.
Anthony, 57, has been placed in an induced coma after being "crushed" during the collision, says his wife Dawn.
She said: "It took 90 minutes for the emergency services to cut Tony out of his wagon. I found out at 10:30am while I was at work and I was devastated."
Dawn rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where Anthony was being treated for serious chest injuries and bruising to his heart and lungs.
The lorry driver had stopped at service station overnight when the crash happened.
He is currently on a ventilator fighting pneumonia in the intensive care unit fighting pneumonia.Anthony, who is a grandfather, has also had two strokes while in the coma.
Dawn, who last spoke to her husband the night before the crash, said: “He is not in a good way and we are having a terrible time trying our best to cope and be positive.“We feel like our hearts have been ripped out. It’s a huge shock for everyone.“We are travelling back and forth from Birmingham everyday. We are sitting and hoping things improve and they can wake him up at some point.“At this moment in time we don’t know the full impact. We have to take each day as it comes because there’s complications and changes every day.“Once he is in a more stable position they may think about reducing the sedation. It is a very difficult time for all the family and close friends.“We are at the hospital whenever we can be. We need to be there in case he does wake up.“We tell him every day how much he is loved and that he is going to be okay, hoping that he can hear us. Our lives have changed within hours."
A friend of the family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Anthony’s rehabilitation when he comes around.
Dawn says she does not know what impact it will have on the family financially: “We don’t know the long-term effects of his injuries.“There will be rehabilitation to think about and we may need to make adjustments to the house. Everything is too overwhelming right now.“I can’t thank people enough for what they’ve done and for donating, it will really help us. It gives us comfort knowing that we’ve got people behind us - it’s nice to know there are people out there who do care and are trying to help.”