Amble motorcyclist thanks Great North Air Ambulance Service for saving his leg after Rothbury crash

A motorcyclist involved in a serious collision near Rothbury believes he would have lost his leg if it wasn’t for the speed of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Dan Mackay, 36, from Amble, was riding his motorbike up a blind hill on the B6341 when he had to react quickly after he spotted a cyclist in front of him on June 13, 2021.

His injuries were severe enough that the first responder who assessed his ‘horribly angulated’ broken leg had to request the help of GNAAS.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now Dan is walking with a titanium rod in his leg but claims to be just about back to normal, only experiencing cramp in his leg and foot, and loss of strength in one hand.

Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon.Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon.
Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon.

Recently, he reunited with GNAAS paramedic Lee Salmon at the charity’s base in Langwathby, Penrith.

Dan said: “GNAAS are fantastic. Chances are I wouldn't have my leg without them. I was told if they’d tried to get me to a hospital by road that I probably wouldn’t have had my leg by the time I got there, so it was indispensable for me.”

Mr Salmon added: “It was heart-warming to see Dan walk into my office with barely a limp. To hear him wax lyrical about our help that day and his ongoing care was lovely. It is often the case that seeing a patient brings back lots of emotion and for me Dan was one of those cases.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Our privilege is one of bestowing expert care and practice on patients in their hour of need, then to have them visit you years later to hear their plans for the future, learn more about them as a person and to meet their family can become overwhelming. I'm so pleased for Dan and can't wait for him to have a brilliant future living a normal life.”

(From left to right) Pilot Nigel Lynch, Mick, Pepi and Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon(From left to right) Pilot Nigel Lynch, Mick, Pepi and Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon
(From left to right) Pilot Nigel Lynch, Mick, Pepi and Dan Mackay and paramedic Lee Salmon

Dan recounted how he survived the crash but didn’t know about his hand injuries, only that his leg was the wrong way. He remembers a cyclist at the top of the hill and a right-hand corner coming up, to miss the cyclist Dan needed to get into the other lane but couldn’t make it. He chose to lay the bike down to avoid knocking the cyclist over.

He said: “When I laid the bike down I was going about 60mph, and then I was sliding across on the wrong side of the road towards the corner.”

Dan knew if a car came he was dead but managed to slide past the wrong side of the road. Then he saw the wall, fence and telegraph pole.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I was at the side of the road and I thought, I'm still alive, that's amazing,” he recalled.

Dan Mackay out of hospital.Dan Mackay out of hospital.
Dan Mackay out of hospital.

He received surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

GNAAS doesn’t receive government funding and needs to raise £7.7m a year to remain operational. The charity has launched a raffle with a top prize of £10,000 to help it meet rising demand of its services. Tickets costs £1 each and are available now.

Related topics: