Paramedic pays tribute to North West Air Ambulance one year after horrific cycling accident

Paul Harvey was riding in Wigan when he hit a piece of debris in the road.

A paramedic from Swinton has paid tribute to the North West Air Ambulance, a year after the charity saved his life.

Paul Harvey was cycling in Wigan in July 2021 when he hit a piece of debris in the road throwing him over his handlebars of the bike and onto the road.

Despite wearing a helmet, he landed heavily on the road causing him to lose consciousness and left him with life-changing spinal injuries.

Paul is a paramedic for the North West Ambulance Service.

He said: “The paramedic noticed I was bleeding from both ears, there were fractures to the left side of my face and they were querying if I had a spinal injury.

“But they were more concerned about my head trauma. They tried to identify me but I couldn’t even give my own name.”

Paul landed heavily on the road and lost consciousness from his injuries.

After an ambulance arrived at the scene, the paramedics called in the North West Air Ambulance Charity to provide enhanced pre-hospital care.

Paul was agitated, so the air ambulance team made the decision to anaesthetise, then intubated Paul to control his breathing.

He was taken by road ambulance to Salford Royal Hospital escorted by the air ambulance team, in order to maintain his medically induced coma and protect his brain.

Paul spent two weeks in a coma at Salford Royal Hospital and was treated for injuries.

This included an unstable spinal fracture, which required spinal fusion surgery, and a traumatic brain injury – a Diffuse Axonal Injury – which is the tearing of the brain’s connective fibres, and can be fatal.

Now, a year on from the incident, Paul is recovering well and back working for the North West Ambulance Service, completing office duties while he continues his recovery.

Paul wanted to pay tribute to all the emergency workers who treated him after the care he received at the roadside.

He said: “Everybody that attended that scene contributed to saving my life. But the charity prevented me from being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”

“I’m just immensely grateful. My experience as a paramedic made me appreciate the things they did for me.

“The fact that I’m still here for my family and the fact that I’ve got my life back – I want to thank them to the end of the earth.”