When Bradley Turner suffered a seemingly superficial injury, it actually masked a far more serious problem. Mum Sarah explains…

I would like to share my son’s experience from last year and express how grateful I am to your crew, who were on scene within minutes. If it wasn’t for them, my son would not have survived.

It was the start of a long and emotional rollercoaster for us, but it could have been a great deal worse. Bradley was 17 years old at the time. He competes in Autograss Racing and went with his dad (Adrian) to test his new car. They had decided not to travel to a meeting, as it was a long way to go not knowing if anything needed altering on the car before going. There is a strip of land by Adrian’s business, which they thought was straight enough to get a feel for how the car ran – it’s off the beaten track and out of the way.

After a few times going backwards and forwards, a wheel must have caught something and made the car snake a bit. It hit a fence and came to an abrupt halt. As Adrian approached the car, he saw Bradley slumped in the front, unconscious. The emergency services were called and a number of services were deployed, including the police, ambulance and air ambulance. At the time, Adrian didn’t think it was necessary for the helicopter as Bradley had come around and got out of the car, however, he fell unconscious again. Luckily though, the helicopter and crew were there in no time at all.

Externally Bradley had a graze on his chest and that was all. The crew must have known something was seriously wrong as they put him on a stretcher (still unconscious) and flew him to Southmead Hospital. I was called and Adrian and I drove to meet them there.

When we arrived, Bradley was awake and sitting up in bed, although short of breath. The consultant explained that they had taken an X-ray, which showed a broken collar bone and a couple of broken ribs. He also said that there was something else on the X-ray that they weren’t quite sure of. Damage to his lung was an option, but they needed to do an exploratory operation and we had to give our permission for them to do anything necessary, depending on their findings.

We sat in the waiting room looking at CCTV footage from the scene as Adrian couldn’t understand why Bradley had a graze on the left side of his chest from the steering wheel impact. It was then that we realised what actually happened. The graze wasn’t from the steering wheel, but from the broken fence rail, which had hit him in the chest.

The hospital staff were brilliant, they made a repair to the tear between the bronchi and lung and kept Bradley sedated to see if it would heal. Unfortunately, due to complications, they needed to transfer him to Bristol Royal Infirmary and to cut a long story short, a couple of days later, he underwent a further operation to try and repair the tear, which lasted 12 hours. This was not possible because the tissue wasn’t strong enough and it was disintegrating, which resulted in Bradley having his lung totally removed.

It felt like a very long seven weeks later that Bradley emerged from hospital; one lung down but alive and able to tell the tale!

One year later, on 24th March this year, Bradley raced his new car for the first time and hasn’t looked back. He is now the 2019 MAP Class 5 Champion and won Round 2 at the UKAC meeting last weekend, winning all four races to do so. He also went back to college and finished the media course that he was unable to do last year and is now enrolled to do his degree at Taunton College.

Words cannot describe how much we appreciate all the effort, care and compassion that went into getting Bradley to hospital and consequently from the doctors and nurses after we arrived. You are all truly amazing people!

If you've been inspired by Bradley's story and would like to help us to continue saving lives, we would be grateful to receive your donation. No matter how big or small, every penny donated really will make a big difference! Thank you.

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