A man airlifted to hospital following a life-threatening car accident 20 years ago says the terrifying ordeal gave him a fresh perspective on life.
David Carr, 65, from Whitley Bay, has been donating to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) ever since the charity rescued him from the incident which almost killed him.
In August, 1996, Mr Carr was travelling with a friend to complete a hill climb when the collision happened in the village of Glanton, Northumberland.
He said: “I was driving along when the car came off the road and everything after that is a blank for me.”
Mr Carr was airlifted to Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington and spent two-and-a-half weeks in a coma.
His injuries included a punctured lung, a broken tibia, fibula, pelvis and hip. He later discovered that he had come very close to having his leg amputated. Fortunately, one of the consultants insisted it could be saved.
He said: “It was definitely a life-threatening experience. It was touch and go whether I would make it.
“When I woke I was extremely disorientated, high on drugs and suffering from nightmares. When I was able to, I visited the site of the accident and thought how lucky I was to still be here.”
An avid runner prior to his incident, Mr Carr said he had always been determined to get back on his feet.
He added: “I wanted to get back to complete normality but I had to accept that I wouldn’t run the way I could. I came to realise that running is not the most important thing in life – being alive is.”
Mr Carr has become one of GNAAS’ most long-standing supporters. In 2004, he took part in the long distance walk The St Cuthbert’s Way – from Melrose, Scotland to Holy Island, Northumberland.
Additionally, because of his involvement with the North Shields Polytechnic Club, the athletic organisation also gives regular contributions to GNAAS.
Mr Carr, who recently retired from his role in the tax office, added: “My experience has given me a different outlook on life – I appreciate every minute.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “David’s tale is one which shows the everlasting effect of GNAAS and how the charity impacts people’s whole lives.
“We appreciate the support which he has given to us over the years because without such contributions we would not be able to continue.”