Midland Karting is holding a Charity Karting Event on Sunday September 21st to raise funds for Midlands Air Ambulance. The work that this charity does is quite literally life-saving, as discovered by Steven Burns from Cannock.
Like many 23 year olds, Steven Burns from Cannock was into his cars, but as a sensible driver he never envisaged being in an accident that would almost kill him.
In July Steven was at a friend’s birthday party at a local pub. As he was driving his ‘pride and joy’ – a Ford Escort, he decided not to drink that night. During the evening one of his friends was showing off his new car and offered to take Steven for a quick spin.
Steven commented: “I loved my car, so was always careful while driving as I didn’t want to damage it, or myself for that matter. I thought my friend would have felt the same about his, but unfortunately not.”
He explains what happened next: “I was a bit apprehensive as my other friend didn’t want to come in the car and as soon as we pulled out of the pub car park, I knew he was showing off. He was driving way too fast and we were only a mile from the pub when the car mounted a kerb and we were hurled into a brick wall head on. My memory about what happened after that is very patchy.”
Steven drifted in and out of consciousness and although he knew they had been in a crash, he couldn’t figure out what was happening around him. He continued: “It all felt like a dream and it was very surreal. There were lots of people around the car, local residents who’d heard the crash and the emergency services. I was in a lot of pain, especially in my neck and down my spine, which worried me the most.”
Due to the impact, Steven had broken one of his vertebrae in his neck, despite this he was the lucky one, as the driver of the car tragically died in the impact of the crash.
To release Steven from the car, the paramedics on the scene worked closely with the fire brigade to cut him out of the car and get him to the local hospital, Walsall Manor, as quickly a possible. On assessing his condition, the land crew paramedics made the decision that Steven needed treatment at Stoke Hospital, which is a specialist trauma centre for back and neck injuries, but the drive by land ambulance would have taken well over an hour.
As well as attending incident scenes, two per cent of Midlands Air Ambulance’s missions are hospital transfers, taking severely injured patients to the most appropriate hospital for their individual needs. The Midlands Air Ambulance aircrew from the Cosford airbase in Shropshire arrived at Walsall Manor and prepared Steven for the short flight to Stoke.
On arrival at Stoke Hospital, Steven was rushed in for X-Rays, plus a CT and MRI scan to assess his back and neck. He was taken into theatre where the surgeons took a bone graft from his hip and pinned it in place with a titanium plate to help mend his vertebrae, an operation that couldn’t have been performed at Walsall Manor.
Steven was in hospital for ten days and spent the rest of his recovery at home. Steven said: “The team at Stoke Hospital said I made an incredible recovery. Thanks to the paramedics on scene and the speedy transfer to the specialist hospital via the Midlands Air Ambulance, I had the very best treatment available to me.”
“Although I’m limited to about 80 per cent movement in my neck, I count myself extremely lucky to be alive and I’m still able to enjoy an active lifestyle. I love mountain biking and riding my BMX as well as going on track days with my car. It could have been such a different outcome and I can’t thank the air crew from Midlands Air Ambulance enough for giving me the best possible chance to make such a good recovery.”
You can raise funds to help keep the heroes of Midlands Air Ambulance flying, and have a lot of fun, by coming along and competing in the Midland Karting Race Day. Entry prices are £150 per team. For further details contact Midland Karting on 01543 418419, email [email protected]