ACCIDENT victim Nigel Braithwaite says he owes his life to the paramedic who made the split second decision to do a U-turn on the road to Worcester Royal – and head to A&E at the Alex instead.
“The nurses said we were en-route to Worcester but the ambulance crew felt I wouldn’t make it so they did an about turn and came back to Redditch, and basically saved my life,” said the Headless Cross resident, himself a nurse.
The 52-year-old, who had been cycling, had suffered 19 separate fractures and his bike helmet, which is now on display at his daughter’s school, was smashed to bits.
“I was out of it for the first three weeks and they couldn’t operate for four days because they considered me an anaesthetic risk,” said Nigel, who can still only get about by wheelchair or crutches for short distances.
His nightmare began late last year when he was involved in a collision as he pedalled to some local stables.
The driver stopped and called for the emergency services who arrived promptly on the scene.
Under new proposals put forward by the Bromsgrove and Redditch Clinical Commissioning Group, the most serious incidents would transfer straight away to Worcester while the remaining cases would be cared for at the Alex.
But Nigel believes that under such a ruling his life may have been lost.
“I can understand the thinking behind centres of excellence at hospitals, but the Alex needs to be equipped to deal with major accidents,” he said.
As a non-driver he also opted to have his rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham rather than travel to Worcester.
“Going to Worcester is simply not an option without your own trasport while the QE is just up the train line from Redditch,” he said.
Rebecca Blake, Labour parliamentary candidate for the Redditch constituency, said: “Nigel’s story is self-explanatory – if it wasn’t for the Alex he would not be here.
“It is illogical to send people from Redditch and North Worcestershire to Worcester Royal when it is struggling to cope.”