A teenage boy who almost died after being hit by a motorcycle has urged people to get behind Sheffield Children’s Hospital helipad appeal.
Joe Boyer was 14 when he was hit by a bike while crossing a road in Chesterfield in April 2016 and was initially thought so badly injured he was pronounced dead at the scene.
However, after paramedics refused to give up on him, he was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by air ambulance, where the team had to clear a wedding ceremony from Weston Park in order for the helicopter to land.
Joe was then ferried across the A57 on a stretcher to A&E, where he was found to have suffered a severe brain injury as well as third-degree burns, femoral fractures, a fractured pelvis and spine and significant damage to his kidneys, lungs and spleen.
“The only thing he didn’t break was one arm”, said Joe’s mum Marie, aged 42.
“In the eight hours after Joe’s admission, the medical team had to resuscitate him four times. We thought we’d lost him but they kept bringing him back to life.”
Joe spent the next two weeks in a coma and a month in recovery in the intensive care and burns wards at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“My recovery has been long and I've had to learn to walk, talk and eat again which hasn't been easy,” said Joe, who is now 16.
“But I know that I'm very lucky. Without the help of everyone that day, I wouldn't be here now, telling you all about it.
“I've wanted to be a chef ever since I was three-years-old and thanks to everyone at the Air Ambulance and Sheffield Children's Hospital, I have the chance to follow my dreams.”
Marie added: “Physically Joe has mended really well.
“The brain injury continues to affect his short term memory, but he has managed to take his GCSE’s which is a huge achievement.”
“If Sheffield Children’s Hospital can get their own helipad, patients can get into the hospital quickly and avoid the problems of landing in the park. Minutes matter in these situations and other families might not be so lucky.”
The helipad appeal got a big boost this week after HELP Appeal chief executive Robert Bertram presented the first installment of £562,500 out of their £2.25M pledge to David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity.
Since 2009, the HELP Appeal has provided significant grants to fund helipads at major trauma centres and A&E hospitals around England and Scotland and in 2016 helped fund the helipad at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.
Their total donation of £2.25 million will cover half of the cost of the helipad. The £6m The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal is raising includes a contingency fund should costs rise before its expected completion in 2023.
Chief executive of the HELP Appeal, Robert Bertram, said: “After helipad patients land, they shouldn’t have to endure a lengthy secondary transfer in a road ambulance or trolley, as it can cause further discomfort and injury and delay lifesaving treatment.
“The sooner a seriously ill child can reach a specialist doctor, the better their chances of survival. Having a helipad beside the Emergency Department will save time, save lives and keep families together.”
To support the helipad appeal, visit www.tchc.org.uk.