Youngster left critically injured after being hit by car thanks crew who saved him

Sue Cook, Mark Cotgrave, James Bainbridge, Jay Steward, Doug Bainbridge and Leo Bainbridge.

Sue Cook, Mark Cotgrave, James Bainbridge, Jay Steward, Doug Bainbridge and Leo Bainbridge.

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A youngster left fighting for his life after being knocked over by a car has thanked the air ambulance crew who saved him.

James Bainbridge was joined by his family for a tour of the Great North Air Ambulance (GNASS) facility and to meet the crew who came to his aid.

James Bainbridge and his brother Leo sit in the helicopter cockpit.

James Bainbridge and his brother Leo sit in the helicopter cockpit.

The eight-year-old was crossing the road on his scooter on Marden Estate, Cullercoats, when he was hit on August 21.

He suffered a fractured skull, collapsed lung and lacerated liver.

His father, Doug Bainbridge, said: “I rang him to tell him that his tea was ready and a lady answered. She told me that he had been in an accident.

“I ran out of the door and cut through an alley. I could see a lot of people gathered.

The scene of the accident near Hartington Road, Cullercoats.

The scene of the accident near Hartington Road, Cullercoats.

“James was lying there with his eyes rolled back and a stream of blood running from his head. There was a pool a metre long. He had wheel marks on his clothes.”

The GNAAS flew to the scene and landed on a grassed area near Hartington Road.

The on-board doctor and paramedic team put him into a medically-induced coma.

Mr Bainbridge, a father-of-two, said: “The medics were so professional and calm and knew exactly what to do. I felt that he was in the best hands.”

James was flown to the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary within six minutes where he arrived in a critical condition.

His parents, Mr Bainbridge and Sue Cook, were given a police escort to the hospital.

He spent three days in intensive care and a further seven days in hospital.

Mr Bainbridge said: “There were so many people that came out to help. An off-duty nurse and an off-duty fireman rushed to his aid and the air ambulance seemed to arrive within minutes.

“It’s such a tight-knit estate and we’ve been overwhelmed by kindness and generosity since the accident. It’s shown us that when your chips are down, people will be there for you.”

The family met GNAAS paramedic Mark Cotgrave and pilot Jay Steward at Durham Tees Valley Airport where James handed over £1,250 which was raised from family and friends in appreciation of the help he received from GNAAS.

Future fundraisers are already planned at his school, Monkhouse Primary, and Whitley Bay Cubs.

Mr Bainbridge said: “It has been great to have been given the opportunity to thank them in person for everything they have done. It is such a fantastic operation. It could have been a different outcome. We are just so grateful.

“It has touched everybody in the local community and so many people have got involved, from giving donations to businesses donating prizes to our upcoming raffle.”

Mr Cotgrave said: “It was absolutely brilliant to see the family and of course James looking so well. This is my favourite part of our job.

“An incident involving a sick child is never easy, but when they come back to see us, bright as a button, I’m able to go home knowing I’ve made a difference.”

One of the fundraising events taking place for GNAAS is being organised by the 18th Whitley Bay District Cubs group, which James is a member of.

It will take place at Methodist Church, Broadway, Cullercoats, on Saturday, October 15, from 11am to 3pm.

There will be stalls, raffle, rowing challenge, penalty shoot-out, car wash, games, food, refreshments, candy floss, ice cream and more.

A group spokesperson said: “Money raised at the event will be donated to the Air Ambulance in thanks to saving the life of one of our boys.

“We are hoping this will be a huge event with guests from Air Ambulance, Police dog handlers, Fire service and North Tyneside Steel Band.”

To find out more about GNAAS, visit gnaas.com