Newton Aycliffe teen who broke back after falling down Middridge Quarry makes 'remarkable' recovery

Travis Dixon met paramedic Rebekah Vonk to thank her for helping to save his life following the accident. Credit: GNAAS

A teenager who broke his back after falling down a quarry is now back on the football pitch just months after the accident.

Travis Dixon, 15, was badly injured during the school holidays last year after falling and breaking his spine, pelvis and ankle, puncturing both lungs and lacerating his kidneys.

The teenager, who spent a week in hospital being treated for his injuries, is now back playing football after months of physiotherapy.

Travis was on a bike ride with a friend in Newton Aycliffe, in County Durham, on 2 August when the accident happened.

The pair were walking near the edge of Middridge Quarry when Travis slipped and fell to the bottom, knocking him unconscious.

After regaining consciousness, Travis called 999 whilst his friend made his way down the quarry to help him.

Travis Dixon was airlifted to hospital after he slipped and fell to the bottom of Middridge Quarry, breaking his back. Credit: GNAAS

Noticing Travis was bleeding heavily from his head, his friend took his t-shirt off and held it against his head to stop the bleeding.

Recalling the incident, Travis said: “When I hit the bottom I knocked myself out but my mate didn’t know I was just knocked out, he saw me lying on the floor and thought that I might be dead.”

After calling for help, he rang his parents to let them know what had happened.

He said: “I was winded and couldn’t breathe properly for about five minutes. I knew my mam was at work so I called my dad first, and then her.”

Travis’ mother Emma Dixon, 33, said: “He literally told me, you need to get here quick I think I’m going to die. He genuinely did think he was dying at that point.”

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) dispatched paramedics who requested back-up from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Paramedic Rebekah Vonk, said: “Without the GNAAS team, it would have been a long and bumpy two-mile journey on our stretcher in the beaming hot sun, which would have taken over an hour and wouldn’t have been very comfortable for Travis.

“We were quite concerned for the patient when we saw where he had fallen from but alongside the GNAAS team on scene, we were able to work together to deliver the pre-hospital clinical care he needed.”

Together, they wheeled Travis on a stretcher to the aircraft and GNAAS flew him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

After an initial trauma assessment, he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and spent nearly a week in hospital.

Travis Dixon, and his mother Emma, have thanked the Great North Air Ambulance for helping to save the 15-year-old. Credit: GNAAS

Travis had several breaks in his spine, three breaks in his pelvis, a broken ankle, punctured both lungs and lacerated his kidneys.

He said: “I’m thankful for the teams at NEAS and GNAAS for their help.

“I’ve since had a lot of physio and gym sessions, and I did one-on-one football sessions before going back to football after three months off.”

Travis and his family recently visited the GNAAS and met paramedic Hollie Smith who also attended the scene on the day that Travis fell.

She had been surprised to find out that her personal trainer has also been rehabilitating Travis and helped him get his fitness back.

Ms Smith said: “It was really rewarding to see Travis doing so well only three months after his fall.

"Despite his injuries, he has made a remarkable recovery, and I am amazed that he is back playing football already.”

Ms Vonk added: “To be playing football again after those kinds of injuries is nothing short of amazing, it reflects his dedication to his craft. It’s great to hear he has recovered so well.”

Travis Dixon is a keen football player and is now back on the pitch after recovering from his injuries.

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