Veteran thanks Yorkshire Air Ambulance and mystery nurse who came to his aid when he crashed his motorbike at 60mph

A British Army veteran from Yorkshire has thanked the people who came to his aid following a motorbike crash – including a mystery nurse who happened to be passing by.

Benjamin Patel was involved in a serious crash on Rues Lane, just off the A59 near Otley, on August 14, 2021. He was riding his motorbike at around 60mph when a car pulled into the road unexpectedly, sending him flying and leaving him lying unconscious on the side of the road.

Mr Patel, who served for 16 years with the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), was off duty at the time of the incident, and has thanked people who helped him following the accident, including staff from Yorkshire Air Ambulance and a mystery nurse.

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After he had regained consciousness and while he was waiting for emergency services, a passerby who happened to be a nurse conducted basic CPR checks and comforted him. Mr Patel spotted the distinctive yellow helicopter of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) as he was lying on the ground.

Benjamin Patel at home with members of his familyBenjamin Patel at home with members of his family
Benjamin Patel at home with members of his family

The crew provided support to him and adminstered pain relief as it became clear he had serious injuries, including a broken wrist and serious damage to his pelvis. He was eventually taken to Leeds General Infirmary by road ambulance.

There, he underwent intricate emergency surgery, where a plate, pins, and bolts were implanted to secure his pelvis. Mr Patel was faced the challenging prospect of non-weight bearing for four months in stark contrast to his strict military lifestyle.

He got by thanks to the support of his girlfriend and both their families. – a downstairs living room at his sister-in-law's home was adapted to meet his needs, and the time at home meant he was able to spend time with his young nieces.

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Two years on, surgeries are still in planning stages to repair his wrist, and the pyschological stars of the accident continue to linger. He says he maintains a deep sense of gratitude for the second chance at life afforded to him by Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Benjamin Patel presenting the  team from YAA with his fundraising chequeBenjamin Patel presenting the  team from YAA with his fundraising cheque
Benjamin Patel presenting the team from YAA with his fundraising cheque

Speaking of his accident, Mr Patel said: "I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my family, friends, and the compassionate nurse who helped me on the roadside. I am also deeply thankful to the paramedics at Yorkshire Air Ambulance for their swift response and life-saving care during my accident.

"They are an incredibly valuable emergency service and as a charity, they rely on the support of individual donors to keep doing what they do best. I am committed to doing my part to continue to raise funds and spread awareness to ensure that this essential service continues to thrive and save lives."

He has already raised more than £1,850 to support Yorkshire Air Ambulance, after launching a Facebook appeal during his time in hospital, and has also used his welding skills gained in the army to create a custom barbecue which he auctioned off for £650.

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Mr Patel was later invited to the YAA’s Nostell Air Base in Wakefield, where he had the privilege of meeting the team of paramedics who came to his aid and presenting them with a large cheque for the funds he had raised.

HEMS Specialist Paramedic Critical Care, Andrew Armitage, said: "Benjamin’s experience highlights the critical importance of Yorkshire Air Ambulance's mission. We are here to provide rapid, life-saving care when it matters most. Benjamin was fortunate to be wearing protective equipment like his helmet and leathers; otherwise, his injuries could have been much worse. It's a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and I am pleased to know he is recovering well."

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