Sheringham cyclist owes his life to EAAA after horror bike crash

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In May of last year, Chris Marshall was involved in a life-threatening car collision near the Cromer Golf Club, while training for a 100 mile cycling challenge.

When Chris’ wife was first notified of the accident, she was told Chris, 49, a hairdresser from Sheringham, likely would not have survived.

The accident occurred at around 11:30 am on May 12, 2020. A team from the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which now provides 24-hour coverage for such incidents, was tasked at 11:39 am to provide emergency medical assistance. intensive care on site, upon landing. in the parking lot of the Cromer Golf Club.

The EAAA team worked for over an hour to deliver the enhanced prehospital care interventions needed to give Chris a fighting chance. These included performing a thoracostomy, a procedure to release air to treat a collapsed lung, and Chris’s anesthesia to take control of his breathing.

Chris, a father of two, had a suspected head injury and had fractured several bones in his body. His injuries were classified as life threatening and without the enhanced interventions of the air ambulance team, he would not have made it to hospital.

Fortunately, the team was able to stabilize Chris enough to be moved and he was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s major trauma center for specialist treatment. Chris’ injuries were extensive and included three brain bleeds, several vertebral fractures, including damage to the spinal cord, a fracture of the pelvis, a fracture of the left scapula, hip and ankle and several broken ribs on his right side.


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He has since suffered from double vision, slurred speech, and had to relearn to walk and speak. Chris also has nerve damage that still prevents him from fully lifting his arms.

Despite these serious injuries, Chris has shown genuine courage and determination to recover and in August he plans to cycle 435 miles, known as the Adrian Flux Lap of Anglia, to help to raise essential funds for the EAAA. Chris was also recently voted EAAA’s Most Inspirational Patient for 2021 for his inspiring recovery and attitude to life.

Chris said: “I am still not 100% but I know how close I am to death and I am so, so happy that I didn’t and so grateful to the East Anglian Air Ambulance for ‘being there to save my life. After talking to the team that treated me, there is no way the paramedics in the ambulance service could have provided the enhanced level of care that the team air ambulance did, which saved me, so without them I wouldn’t be here now to watch my kids grow up.

“I still have a long way to go, but the Tour d’Anglie is a really big target for me – I’ve never ridden so much in a row before, and on day one we’ll pass the site of the Cromer incident, which will be difficult, but I’ll be with about 70 other cyclists who all cycle for the same cause, and that will get me out of it. I will never ride a bike alone again and urge everyone to be exceptionally careful with cyclists on the road. A few seconds can change someone’s life forever.

EAAA doctor Chris Chadwick, who treated Chris, added: “We were able to tell from the moment we arrived on the scene that our patient, a male cyclist, was seriously injured. We worked quickly despite the hot day in full PPE to deliver emergency anesthesia and other critical care procedures. With the help of all the emergency services on site, we quickly got on the plane and went to the major trauma center at Addenbrooke Hospital. extensive and serious injuries.

“I can’t tell you how happy we were to speak to Chris and his family about Teams months later to hear about his incredible recovery and his indomitable spirit, supported by our very special nurses.

“Chris more than deserves his Inspirational Patient Award and we look forward to cheering him on as he gets back on his bike and takes on his challenge to support East Anglian Air Ambulance in August.”


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