A BOY from Sheffield has been reunited with the paramedics who helped him when he was thrown from his bike and plunged down a steep embankment.
Thomas Dean, aged 11, was cycling along the Monsal Trail in the Peak District ahead of his dad Craig and sister Olivia, seven, when he hit a fence, flew from his bike, and fell metres down a bank below.
Craig said: “I saw Thomas go flying but I couldn’t see where he had landed. I raced to the edge and my heart sank as I could hear water rushing.
“Thankfully, Thomas had landed a few metres away from the water but he was still stranded down the steep embankment.
“I could hear him calling out for me but I couldn’t see a way to reach him – so I called 999 and waited for help to arrive.”
First on the scene was Karl Bexon, a medical first responder for East Midlands Ambulance Service and a full-time paramedic for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
Karl said: “I managed to get down the embankment to Thomas, which was tricky as it was slippery. He didn’t appear to be too seriously injured but he was starting to get cold and worrying about how he would get out of there.
“I immobilised him and kept him warm, and chatted to him about football to take his mind off things.”
That was only the start of a huge rescue operation which involved Edale and Buxton Mountain Rescue Teams as well as the fire and rescue service.
Karl said: “We all worked together using a rescue basket stretcher and a pulley system to get Thomas up. Then the air ambulance was called to fly Thomas to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”
Thomas was found to have a broken collarbone and has since gone on to make a full recovery.
Now he and his family have enjoyed a visit to the air ambulance base at East Midlands Airport to thank the crews for their help.
Craig added: “It was surreal to see all the emergency services on hand at what had been a regular family bike ride!
“We’re now also trying to raise awareness of the importance of cycling helmets. When I found Thomas’ helmet it was battered to pieces so I really do think if it hadn’t been for that, the situation would have been a lot worse.”