Helicopter ER show to reveal Ripon motorcyclist's Yorkshire Air Ambulance rescue and leg amputation

A Ripon motorcyclist who suffered a dramatic crash which left him needing to have part of his leg amputated is to feature on television.

Al Plunkett, 52, will be shown onUKTV's Really ChannelshowHelicopter ER. Picture issued by YAA.
Al Plunkett, 52, will be shown onUKTV's Really ChannelshowHelicopter ER. Picture issued by YAA.

The accident, which resulted in life-changing injuries for experienced rider Al Plunkett, 52, will be shown on UKTV's Really Channel show Helicopter ER.

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Mr Plunkett was driving his motorbike back from Scarborough last year when he crashed with a car next to a farm entrance.

His bike hit the nearby drystone wall as he swerved and he was flung into the road.

Medics arrived on the scene within minutes, followed by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) with its Critical Care Team to assess and treat Mr Plunkett's injuries.

The YAA flew Mr Plunkett to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where tests revealed that he suffered severe damage to the bones and organs on the left side of his body, and had to have part of his left leg amputated.

Speaking of his injuries, he said: “It changed everything. Going out with the kids, playing football with the kids – it was a massive life changing experience and I’m still going through it.”

Despite his ordeal, Mr Plunkett has remained positive and his recovery is going well.

And, he has not been deterred from his motorcycle, having started fixing it as soon as he was able.

Mr Plunkett added: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a fantastic service. The bike was a mess, the car was a mess, and I was a mess, so they did an amazing job getting me to hospital.

"Where I live, it would take longer to get to hospital by land ambulance, so I don’t think I’d be in the position I am now. The air ambulance got me to hospital quickly and got me fixed.”

The accident will feature on next Monday’s episode of Helicopter ER, the award-winning UKTV programme which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The episode, which airs at 9pm on Really, also features a BMX rider who ended his race in agony, a police detention officer who suffered a cardiac arrest while on a training day and a tragic helicopter crash.

Helicopter ER is made by York-based Air Television, which has won three Royal Television Society awards for its work on the series.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance - fact file

- YAA serves five million people across the region and carries out more than 1,500 missions every year - with an average of three incidents every day.

- The charity operates two state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters from Nostell Priory near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe, near Thirsk.

- It needs to raise £12,000 per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances in flight and maintained - equivalent to £4.4 million each year.

- The YAA provides a life-saving rapid response emergency service 365 days a year across four million acres.

- Patients are transferred to the nearest major trauma centres, flying at speeds of up to 160mph.

- YAA paramedics and dispatchers are seconded to the charity by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

- More than 7,600 patients have been carried to relevant treatment centres.