This paramedic and cyclist nearly died after being thrown from his bike after hitting debris - and now he's saying thankyou to his North west Air Ambulance lifesavers.

This was North West paramedic Paul Harvey one year ago after he was thrown from his bike and nearly died from horrific injuries after hitting debris in the road.

Now, 12 months on, he’s spoken about his ordeal and saying thankyou to those who saved his life.

Paul Harvey, 48, was cycling in Wigan in July 2021, when he hit a piece of debris in the road.

The collision threw him over the handlebars of the bike and onto the road.

Paul Harvey nearly died died when he was thrown off his bike

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Despite wearing a helmet, Paul, who works for North West Ambulance Service, landed heavily on the road, causing him to lose consciousness.

He was also left with potentially life-changing spinal injuries.

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Paul 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.

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Paul Harvey, paramedic, was thrown off his bike and nearly died

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

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.

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After his crash, Paul spent two weeks in a coma at Salford Royal Hospital. He was treated for injuries including 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.

Paul said: “I dread to think how different my injuries might have been if it wasn’t for the North West Air Ambulance Charity. Without them, my spinal fracture could have been spinal cord injury.”

One 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.

On the anniversary of his accident, Paul, from Swinton, Greater Manchester, enjoyed a meal with close family members at his local pub to mark the occasion.

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After the care he received at the roadside, Paul wanted to pay tribute to all the emergency workers who treated him that day. But said his life may have been very different if it wasn’t for the charity.

Paul 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.”

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The North West Air Ambulance Charity receives no NHS or government funding. To find out how you can support the charity, visit www.nwairambulance.org.uk.