Man left seriously injured after taking shortcut
Ashley Lovering decided to take a shortcut back to his car after going out with his camera to take some pictures near the M4 in Morriston, Swansea – it was probably one of the worst decisions of his life. “I’ve had a keen interest in transport all my life. I was out taking pictures of trucks for my popular Facebook page (” Ashleys Truck Pics “) and a friend of mine had phoned saying he was out with his new truck so I decided to head back to meet him.
“Instead of going around the road to my car I decided to walk down the bank and I think the ground crumbled a bit as I felt myself running all of a sudden. “And down I went into the road and whack into the side of a Transit van.” You can stories about Swansea here. Read next:Met Office issues new weather warning for Wales as Storm Barra set to hit with 70mph winds
He was recalling the terrifying accident, which nearly killed him and left him in hospital for four months, as he visited the brave paramedics who rushed to his aid and saved his life. The 64-year-old retired chauffeur and keen photographer said he was awake but not fully aware of the incredible work the paramedics had to do to keep him alive as he lay badly injured in the middle of the road, but one particularly harsh memory had remained with him. “I recall the ambulance staff coming, I think there were about seven of them in total, and I remember someone pulling my leg to get the bone back inside – that hurt,” he said.
“They must have given me something then as I saw my wife outside the ambulance as they took me in on the bed and the next thing I remember was waking up in hospital in Cardiff.”
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There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out. Ashley, from Swansea Marina, praised the passerby who saw him fall and rang the emergency services and was full of admiration for the paramedics and emergency service personnel who treated him. He visited Cwmbwrla ambulance station in Swansea to thank the paramedics in person.
“Somebody had seen it [my accident] and came along to ring an ambulance and police,” he recalled. “My mobile phone in my pocket had dialled my friend back so he arrived and someone notified my wife who also came.” Ashley ruptured two discs in his back, lacerated a kidney, bruised his bowel and had an open fracture to his femur and both his shoulders which required extensive surgery. Ultimately, one of his shoulders had to be replaced, while the other was rebuilt with plates and pins.
After eight weeks in University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, he spent a further eight weeks receiving treatment at Morriston Hospital in Swansea. Find out about traffic and travel issues where you live: Praising the staff at the hospitals and sharing an update on his condition, he said: “I’ve been back home 15 weeks now and the physio comes to my house.
I also go to the gym three times a week to do recovery work which helps me. I’ve managed to walk into town without crutches now which is about a mile and a half there and back.” “I wanted to meet and thank the ambulance crews as I was able to thank everybody in the hospital in person,” he added. “The doctors, the nurses, the man who cleaned the room, the lady who made the coffee, everyone, but I never got to see the ambulance staff again.
They were fantastic and they saved my life really. “I’ve even written to the police to thank them for closing the road and making everything safe that day.”
Ashley commissioned his friend to make model ambulances which he presented to the paramedics as a thank-you for saving his life (Image: Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust)
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust confirmed that six Welsh Ambulance Service staff and two student paramedics attended to Ashley after his incident, due to the complexities of his injuries. Paramedic Beth Hewes, 42, said: “Ashley’s accident happened on the main road leading to Morriston Hospital and luckily a Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) crew were passing by and stopped to assist him and make the call.
“I was on duty in a rapid response vehicle that day with a student paramedic and we were heading back to base when the call came in and we were the first emergency crew on scene. We were soon joined by an ambulance and a second ambulance to support us and convey the patient once we had him stable.” “He was the perfect patient really,” she added. “He was very polite and even said thankyou every time we gave him pain relief!
“We had had to call ahead to the trauma unit in Cardiff and also seek permission to administer further pain medications. Even with an open fracture in his leg he was saying the majority of the pain was in his shoulder. “It was great teamwork and communication on this job and the NEPTS crew were a great help to us.
Everybody involved was fantastic and the police did a great job in making sure we were safe from traffic to work.” She said meeting Ashley recently was, “a very humbling meeting and really, really nice”. “I’ve been a paramedic 15 years now and I’ve never met a patient afterwards.
It was very emotional but once we all got chatting it was lovely. I know myself and the other crews and students will all treasure the model ambulances he had made for us and that was a lovely touch. “We all wish him very well in the future.”
Speaking of his reunion at Cwmbwrla ambulance station Ashley added: “It was so nice to meet everyone who helped me and be able to thank them properly.
“I had a friend of mine who runs a diecast truck company make them a model ambulance each to keep as a token of my thanks.”
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