Oliver Fernihough

“I am very grateful for the amazing life saving treatment I had from Midlands Air Ambulance, at the end of the day I wouldn’t be here if it wasn't for them.”

A day out with friends started off with great intentions for Oliver Fernihough, but unfortunately a tragic accident meant he was fighting for his life by lunchtime.

On the 26th May 2012, just one day after his 20th birthday, Oliver and his friends were attending a Young Farmers’ Rally in Rock, near Kidderminster. Oliver comments: “We were having a great morning, it almost feels surreal looking back – I didn’t have a care in the world and was having such a good time.”

By lunchtime the friends decided to go to the local shop and in great spirits they hopped into one of his friend’s Land Rover, Oliver taking his fateful position in the middle of the bench seat.

What happened next would change his life…

Unfortunately the driver lost control of the Land Rover on the country roads, veering over the white lines and into an oncoming car. The impact was so severe Oliver was thrown through the windscreen and not surprisingly he doesn’t recall what happened next.

An eye witness reported Oliver was travelling so fast through the windscreen that he gambolled down the road with the Land Rover rolling down after him.

The lady driving the oncoming car suffered a broken wrist and due to their positions in the Land Rover, the driver had with minor facial injuries and a broken foot, while the other passenger miraculously walked away unscathed.

Oliver wasn’t so lucky. He suffered traumatic head injuries, with three bleeds on the brain and a fractured skull. Two land ambulances and two rapid response vehicles were on the scene within minutes to treat everyone involved and the Midlands Air Ambulance from the Strensham airbase was deployed to ensure Oliver was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which was the most appropriate Trauma Centre for his injuries.

The flight paramedics gave Oliver emergency treatment on the roadside, and although he was initially conscious, his head injury was so traumatic the crew decided to sedate him and immobilised him with a neck brace and spinal board. Oliver was at the hospital within the ‘Golden Hour’, which meant his chances of survival were greatly increased.

Oliver spent five days in a coma in the intensive care unit. On arrival at the hospital he was rushed in for surgery to stem the bleeds on his brain and relieve the pressure. Oliver was only given a 30 per cent chance of survival from the operation, but thankfully due to his great fighting spirit, he pulled through, spending a further three weeks in hospital recovering.

In January this year Oliver was fitted with a bespoke titanium plate to finish the reconstructive work to his skull. Since then he got his driving licence back in April and is back at work full time working in the family business as an agricultural engineer, which keep him working five days a week.

To pay thanks to Midlands Air Ambulance for saving his life, he visited the Strensham airbase in Worcestershire. Oliver says: “It was a great honour to meet the crew who took such good care of me, I can’t thank them enough. It’s amazing to know they attend incidents like mine each and every day, and the fact that it’s all funded by charitable donations is incredible. To make a difference to peoples lives – not just the patients, but their entire families is something none of us can afford to take for granted.”

OPERATIONS STATISTICS:
Missions completed since 1991 48,688 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts up to three horse riders each week.