Martyn's story

Martyn Dormer was just minutes from home when a pothole sent him flying from his electric bike and in urgent need of critical care from Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Patient Martyn Dormer standing in front of the helicopter with critical care paramedics Dan and Sophie, and doctor Reuben who are wearing orange flight suits,

The 65-year-old is a cancer services clerical worker at the Royal United Hospital and was cycling home in torrential conditions after a shift in November 2021.

One of the wettest days of the year had left the roads treacherous and Martyn’s accident occurred on Windsor Bridge Road in Bath.

Martyn was treated initially by a land ambulance, but they swiftly called for assistance from Wiltshire Air Ambulance due to the severity of the injuries.

With the helicopter unable to fly due to the weather, the crew arrived by Rapid Response Vehicle. Critical care paramedics Dan Tucker and Sophie Holt were working with critical care doctor Reuben Cooper, who was undertaking one of his first full-time shifts with the charity.

Martyn remembers nothing of the incident, waking up two days later in Southmead Hospital wondering where he was. He has since visited the airbase to meet the paramedics who came to his rescue that day.

Paramedic Dan told him: “You were in the back of the ambulance when we arrived but we found you to be very agitated. There was lots of bruising around your face and we felt you may have had a brain injury.

“We made the decision very early on that you needed to have an anaesthetic before we could take you to Southmead, which is the regional centre for people with brain injuries or major trauma.

“Due to the rain, one of the local garages offered to shelter you in their premises whilst the team, led by doctor Reuben, administered the emergency anaesthetic, so we all moved in there on mass, putting you to sleep before getting you off to Southmead.”

Critical care doctor Reuben and paramedic Dan wearing orange flight suits, standing in front of Bath Autos with a mechanic and Wiltshire Air Ambulance's critical care car

The garage in question was Bath Auto Services Ltd, a Repairs and MOT Centre just yards from where Martyn was injured. Jeremy Edwards and Agg Bior were the mechanics who helped the crew that day.

Jeremy said: “We could see he was in quite some distress and were only too happy to help out the crew from Wiltshire Air Ambulance, getting everyone out of the torrential rain. We’re so pleased to hear he’s made a good recovery.”

Martyn – who plays in a local band Bill Smarme Rock n Roll Trio – did suffer a fractured pelvis, two broken ribs and damaged an optic nerve in his left eye.

He says: “I know how lucky I’ve been. I’ve been left with reduced sight in my left eye and my left cheek remains numb to this day, but the rest of my body has fully recovered.

“I’ve been back on my bike since, albeit I was petrified to get back on at the time. It only cost £38 to get all the dents out of my bike at least! I’ve also been able to play in five gigs, with more to come."

"It’s been great to come and meet the Wiltshire Air Ambulance crew who came to my rescue. I’ve learnt so much about the incident itself and it’s been great to be able to say thank you."

Martyn Dormer, patient

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