Martin Price was involved in a serious motorcycle incident. The combined speed of the car and Martin's motorcycle was in the region of 90 miles per hour. In one split second, Martin was left with life-changing injuries. In their own words, he and his wife Carolyn bravely tell us what happened that day…

I don’t really remember anything between the time of impact and waking up in the undergrowth. I am not sure how long I remained unconscious, but I can remember someone calling my name and saying that I was going to be ok and they were going to give me pain relief.

I was wearing a brand new motorcycle helmet and leathers, which I’m sure played a key factor in my survival. Apparently one of my boots was found in a field quite a distance away from where I lay. 

The pain was just terrible and the worst I have ever experienced.

The crew from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended my incident and I was subsequently flown to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where the full extent of my injuries were identified.

I had broken my leg and the bones in my foot, damaged the nerves in my spine, sustained five fractures to my pelvis, broken my ribs, punctured my lung and suffered a bleed on the brain.  Additionally, the blood vessels that surround the exit hole for the optic nerves in my skull swelled up and strangled the optic nerves; the retina in my eye had also detached.  

I was placed in an induced coma and after a couple of days my family were called to come to the hospital to say their goodbyes. After five days I stabilised and was flown to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to receive specialist treatment from the orthopaedics and skin graft departments.  I remained in an induced coma for two weeks.

When I eventually came round from the coma it was clear that everything was not as it should be.  I couldn’t understand why I could make out pictures of the nurses but I couldn’t see their faces. After a little while I realised that there was in fact no-one there and I had been hallucinating. Then the realisation hit… I was blind. If that didn’t seem bad enough, it was a little later that I realised I had also lost the use of my leg and that hit me far harder that losing my sight for some reason. The consultants didn’t think that they would be able to save my right leg but an operation saw them take a large amount of muscle from my shoulder and place this onto my leg. Furthermore I had skin grafts from my thighs onto my legs, bolts placed in my foot and leg and bolts and plates inserted into my pelvis.

I was in hospital for nearly four months and then spent a further ten months in rehabilitation.  I spent a further year in and out of hospital with bone infections and various complications. 

I used to walk for miles with my dogs, I cycled and went shooting, but this is no longer possible. In one split moment, your life can change and it’s so easy to take our eyes for granted. I wake up sometimes and don’t know where I am or what time it is due to the black and very strange view.

Carolyn adds:

If it wasn’t for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the staff at Dorset County Hospital Martin simply wouldn’t be here today. Having to call the family, explaining they needed to get to the hospital because Martin was unlikely to survive was awful, but I had to remain strong. 

Consultants at the hospital said that Martin’s injuries were some of the worst they have ever seen.  They also said that they could not believe his positive outlook, his strength of mind and determination to walk. The people in our village and the local pub have also been so supportive.

Martin explains how his life has changed:

It’s definitely emotional talking about the incident. My life is totally different now and I try and do the same things that I used to do, just differently. I am a true believer that if you really want to do something, then within reason you can! I’m currently learning brail (using a brail tablet) and have built a new building (which houses a gym) where our garage used to be. I use this at least three times a week and it has made such a difference in helping to build up my strength.

My hearing is really important to me so we’re trying to enhance my senses by getting different sounds and fragrances in the garden. Carolyn and I make sure that we keep in touch with our friends socially by holding a gathering at our home at least once a year and we go to the local pub for their quiz nights.

Air ambulances are critical, they are literally life-saving. Having had such first-hand experience we now appreciate their work more than ever and support them by being a member of their Flight for Life Lottery. Last year, on my birthday, we asked for donations to the Charity instead of receiving presents and we’ve also given a personal donation towards the costs of my critical flight to hospital.

We hope that by sharing our story and raising awareness of the work of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, others can see what a difference they make to people’s lives.

If you've been inspired by Martin'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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