Friday 30th October 2015 – 3.30pm – Claire Brown.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here today if it wasn’t for you so thank you for saving my life.”
These are the words one of our Birmingham-based paramedics heard this week when he was reunited with a patient who was seriously injured in an RTC earlier this year.
Joel Fowler (18) from Solihull was driving his car with two friends as passengers in the early hours of Sunday 8th March when it collided with a tree in Haslucks Green Road in Shirley. Paramedic Cameron McVittie was first on scene from the ambulance service and found Joel unconscious, seriously injured and trapped in the car. Joel had to be sedated at the scene due to his condition before being rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. His two friends escaped without serious injury.
Joel was in hospital for 17 days and in a medically induced coma for the first week. He sustained a fractured skull and eye socket, a subdural haematoma, a laceration to his liver, a collapsed lung and facial nerve damage but is well on the way to recovery. On Tuesday (27th October) Joel and his parents visited Erdington ambulance hub to meet Cameron.
Joel, who turns 19 next week and is now planning University studies, said: “A doctor said to me that 10 years ago I wouldn’t have survived a crash like that. The only thing I might not be able to do from now on is to fully raise my eyebrow because of some muscle weakness; I’ll take that as it could’ve been so much worse! I consider myself very lucky, it’s had a massive impact on my friends too. They are driving much more carefully because they’ve seen what can go wrong. I’m eternally grateful to Cameron and his colleagues. They really are our modern day heroes.”
Cameron said: “The significance of what happened to Joel is life changing, not everyone survives a crash like that; his car was so badly damaged that it didn’t resemble a car. We’ve evolved over the years from just being a way of transporting patients quickly to hospital. Our advanced training and additional skills means we can provide cutting-edge pre-hospital trauma care on scene giving patients the best possible chance of survival. We don’t get to meet patients very often so it’s fantastic to see Joel looking so well as it proves that the skills we have really do help to save lives.”
Julie Fowler, Joel’s mum, said: “Having the police turn up at home to tell us that our son had been involved in a serious car accident is a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s nothing short of a miracle to see how Joel is now compared to where he was to begin with. We’re just so grateful to the ambulance service and the medical staff at the QE for saving Joel’s life. The ambulance service will always have a very special place in our hearts.”
Notes to Editor:
Reunion at Erdington hub with Joel, his mum and dad and paramedic Cameron. There are no photographs of the RTC.