The fund-raiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance who ended up being rescued by the life-saving service

Jason Clough was raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and ended up needing their life-saving services. Catherine Scott reports.

Jason Clough is hoping to get back on his bike again soon
Jason Clough is hoping to get back on his bike again soon

When Jason Clough set out on his motorbike to arrange a fundraiser for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance little did he know he would be needing their services that same day.

On route to locate stopping points for a west to east coast ride for bikers in 2019, Jason, a self-employed plumber and bathroom fitter from Leeds, was involved in a serious traffic accident near Harrogate that would change his life.

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Two trauma surgeons from Harrogate, who were passing by, came to his aid just after the accident. They called the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as Jason needed immediate treatment and he was airlifted to LGI Major Trauma Centre.

Jason was semi-conscious at the time but was placed in an induced coma for several days during which he had a series of life-saving operations. He required two laparotomies to stem the heavy bleeding and remove damaged bowel.

Eleven months later he developed three painful incisional hernias and he was able to get a consultation at Spire Leeds Hospital where he under went incisional hernia repair in October 2020 under the care of Ian Botterill, consultant colorectal surgeon at Spire. Then in April 2021 he had a further operation to remove hernia mesh in the groin area – from a historic surgery, that had become infected.

Jason is now recovering and hopes to get back to normal activities soon. “That day of the accident changed my life in a split second. It’s now six weeks since the last surgery and I’m building my strength back slowly and I still cannot do simple daily tasks without feeling wiped out. My family and friends have been fantastic helping me with everything that needs to get done. My work is very physically demanding and I’m not sure when I will be able to return to that.”

He recently started riding a motorbike once again – and is still planning on raising funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance that helped save his life.

“I want to give something back and help to raise awareness of the amazing work that they do. Ideally, I would like to do annual fundraisers.

“Yorkshire Air Ambulance saved my life, and I cannot thank those guys enough. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the Leeds Major Trauma Centre team and Mr Botterill for helping to get me back to health.

“It’s been a long journey of recovery since the accident in 2019 and finally I’m looking forward to getting on with my life.”

Ian Botterill says Jason’s case was unusual. “I haven’t encountered such a case despite having a practice in complex hernia repair. There’s been a lot of media coverage about the use of synthetic mesh in recent years, though most of the adverse publicity relates to its use in female pelvic organ prolapse surgery. Whilst man-made meshes for abdominal wall hernias can become infected and need removal, it’s really not that common to have to undertake such surgery.”