In May 2018, brothers Jamie and Josh Morley were involved in a car accident in Monmouthshire. A simple trip out to get some lunch took an awful turn when the car they were travelling in was involved in an accident and careered through a wooden fence into a field. Josh suffered a broken finger as a result, but Jamie sustaining a life threatening head injury.
For Andy, their dad, the day had started quite normally – he had been pottering around in the garden, before receiving the phone call informing him that his boys had been involved in an accident. Fearing the worst and unsure of the scene that would await them, Andy and his wife Marie arrived at the scene.
“Nothing could have prepared my wife and I for what we were about to see.”
The car was badly smashed and had been penetrated in several places by the shattered wooden fence. Josh was bleeding heavily from his nose and Jamie was drifting in and out of consciousness, a sight no parent ever wants to see. Within minutes, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity’s (GWAAC’s) helicopter had landed with our Critical Care Team on board.
Due to the seriousness of Jamie’s head injury, our crew had to act very quickly. After assessing the situation they decided to put him into an induced coma to prevent more injury to his brain. Once stabilised, Jamie was flown to Southmead Hospital’s Major Trauma Centre which took just six minutes. His brother Josh was also taken there by road ambulance.
GWAAC Specialist Paramedic James Yates explained: ”As soon as we arrived at the scene we were immediately concerned for Jamie. His convertible sports car had gone through a wooden fence with debris spread across the field and several stakes from it were embedded in the bodywork and windscreen. After a rapid assessment of Jamie’s condition we found him to be semi-conscious and very confused, probably due to a head injury. Due to this we extricated Jamie from the car and anaesthetised him, allowing us to provide high level medical care. He was then flown to the Major Trauma Centre in Bristol and handed over directly to the trauma team.”
Following his arrival at Southmead, Jamie underwent emergency brain surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain due to bleeding. Despite the speed with which Jamie was treated, Andy and Marie were told to prepare themselves for the worst. Thankfully, the surgery was very successful and after several weeks the doctors tried to bring Jamie out of the coma. Again the doctors had to warn his parents that there was a chance he may be paralysed and unable to communicate properly.
Remembering the moment that Jamie came round and his subsequent recovery, Andy said: “To our amazement he could move, see us and communicate although very slowly. A few more weeks passed and he got stronger and better to the point where he could walk aided.”
Since then, Jamie has gone on to regain his full movement and speech, and has made a full recovery. He is now back in work, goes to the gym and is living a full and active life.
Andy and Marie are extremely grateful to the GWAAC crew that saved Jamie’s life. Andy explained: “My wife and I felt totally useless and just moved back to let the crew do what they had to do, as we knew he was in the best hands.
“We are so thankful because with GWAAC responding, stabilising him, getting him to hospital so fast and enabling emergency surgery within an hour, it prevented further brain damage. If he had gone by road we were told he most likely would not have survived or would have sustained further brain damage.
“My wife and I are so grateful to the whole team that we felt we had to do something, so we held a local fundraising event and raised just over £2000. It may not be a massive amount but every donation helps to keep this vital service flying.”