Julian O’Halleran’s family were told “to expect the worst” when he was involved in a serious road traffic incident. Thankfully, Julian has since made a fantastic recovery. His daughter-in-law Rebecca explains what happened...

Julian’s incident happened in December 2018. He was driving his car on a relatively quiet morning and there were two cars travelling
behind him. The third car in line decided to overtake the car behind Julian, however at the exact same time, the driver of that car also decided to overtake, causing them both to collide. The third vehicle spun out of control and hit the back of Julian’s Suzuki, causing it to roll over and land in a hedge. A member of the public called 999. At that time, they did not know the extent of Julian’s injuries and the other drivers were out of their cars.

Julian slipped in and out of consciousness as he banged his head on the frame of the vehicle when the car rolled. The emergency services arrived and worked together in those very precious minutes to help cut him out of the vehicle and save his life. He was then airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where he had an emergency operation due to a blood clot on his brain. It was at this time that his family were told to expect the worst.

Julian was in a coma for around three weeks before slowly waking up in the intensive care ward. After being moved to Yeovil District Hospital for a short time, he then began his long road to recovery and rehabilitation at Dene Barton Community Hospital. Julian has always been a strong, determined person and this was shown in every step of his recovery; from the minute that he woke up, until he was able to return home much earlier than expected.

One of Julian’s main concerns was not being able to attend his son’s wedding due to his injuries. Using sheer determination, he worked hard to get himself fit and well-enough and, in October 2019, his hard work paid off when he flew to Greece; not only did he watch his son get married, but he was best man on the day.

There are still many goals Julian is striving for. Being able to ride his motorbike, drive a car again and continue his hobby of shooting, to name a few. He has, however, continued to be a season ticket holder for Yeovil Town Football club, a team he has supported for over 20 years, and enjoys going to almost every home game.

While it has been tough for Julian’s family and friends to see him go through this life-changing incident, it has been much harder for him. He has no recollection of the day itself or the weeks after the accident. He has had to learn how to walk again and do the simple tasks that we take for granted. His friends have been amazing, they have rallied round and have supported him throughout.

Julian is still on the road to recovery, but he has already come so far – we could not be prouder of him. The work that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance carry out on a day-to-day basis really is life-changing and we cannot thank the team enough. Those fast-acting
minutes really did make the difference between life and death.

Julian felt strongly that he wanted to meet members of the air ambulance team who played a part in saving his life. Having worked for Augusta Westland for 46 years and retiring in 2017 as an aircraft manager, meant he also had a natural interest in their work. It was a very special moment when he met with Steve Westbrook again and all of us were able to thank him for saving Julian’s life; a debt that we will never be able to repay. His grandchildren Archie and Charlotte are so happy that they can continue to make special memories with grandad, so for that, we will be forever grateful!

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