Kevin Tait is pictured with Wayne Auton at his home in Kenton Bar

Traumatic head injury survivor thanks ambulance crew

Kevin Tait reunited with paramedic who saved his life

A man who survived being hit on the head by a piece of a 27 tonne crane has been reunited with the paramedic who saved his life.

On a cold February morning earlier this year, Charly Dinnery from North East Ambulance Service took a call from a colleague of Kevin Tait, of Kenton Bar, to hear reports of him having been struck on the head by the crane at work.

Just five minutes later, Paramedic Wayne Auton and Emergency Care Assistant Roy Hamilton arrived at the scene in Blaydon to find Kevin unconscious on the floor.

Wayne, aged 35, of Bedlington, said: “He had lost a lot of blood and had fallen between two huge cylinders so when we got to him we couldn’t actually reach to treat him.

“I said to his colleagues ‘if you don’t shift them he’s going to die’, and they quickly pushed them out of the way with a fork lift truck.

“We weren’t sure if he would even make it to hospital.”

Sirens blazing and lights flashing, Roy drove quickly to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, which had been pre alerted, where he arrived just 36 minutes after when the call was initially made to 999, giving Kevin the best chance possible.

Father of one, Kevin was found to have serious head injuries with a fractured skull and eye socket and bleeding on the brain. After surgery, he spent three weeks in intensive care, four further weeks in hospital and an additional five weeks in neuro rehabilitation at Walkergate Hospital.

Wife of 26 years, Debbie was informed of Kevin’s accident by her work colleagues and rushed to hospital to be by his side. 

She said: “I didn’t know what had happened, we were just told he has been in an accident and it wasn’t until we got to the hospital that we got to understand what happened.  I call him my ‘miracle man’.

“I still feel like I’m in a dream. Sometimes I look at him and think have you really gone through this, it’s unbelievable.

“Our lives have totally changed but he’s here and that’s all that matters.”

Kevin has lost some of his vision and hearing and has weakness on one side as well as some cognitive difficulties. He has no memory of the accident recently but now home, he recently celebrated his 50th birthday and raised funds for the intensive care unit on Ward 18 at the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Kevin added, “I feel very lucky.  If it hadn’t been for them getting there as quickly as they possibly could, I wouldn’t be here.  I just can’t thank them enough.”

He is now looking forward to building back his strength to be able to walk his daughter Sam down the aisle next June.

“I'm really pleased to see Kevin is making such good progress in his recovery,” said Wayne. I would never have recognised him now if I saw him on the street.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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