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'My legs were saved by city trauma unit'
HAD he not been treated in Southampton, he would have probably lost his legs.
Police motorcyclist Nick Barman was propelled off his machine and thrown 300ft across a dual carriageway as he responded to an emergency.
He was left a bag of broken bones, seconds away from death.
But an emergency operation at the roadside to restart his heart and a quick transfer to Southampton General Hospital’s Major Trauma Unit via the air ambulance all helped to ensure that the 48-year-old survived.
Today PC Barman will speak at the Wessex Trauma Network Conference to thank the numerous medics who not only saved his life, but ensured that he had a quality of life that was worth living for.
PC Barman, who was based at Whitchurch in north Hampshire, was responding to reports of a collision on his police motorcycle when a yellow Audi S3 swerved out in front of him and sent his bike flying in one direction and him into the central reservation.
His heart stopped and paramedics on the scene of the initial collision had to act instantly to get it beating again.
Before he could even get on to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, a surgeon from Southampton had to be flown in to operate on the roadside.
Once in intensive care at the Major Trauma Unit in Southampton the true extent of his injuries became clear – a broken foot, broken ankles, both knees shattered, his pelvis broken in four places, breakages in his lower back, a broken left shoulder, a punctured lung and a brain injury.
His legs were so badly damaged that surgeons believed they would have to amputate them both. Instead they pieced them together to see how he would cope.
Never believing for one moment that he would ever be able to walk again, PC Barman has made a truly incredible recovery that saw him walking within four months of the February crash on the A31 at Four Marks.
His recovery has been so quick that an operation to remove the metal from his legs, which usually happens a year after the trauma, is due next month due to the incredible healing rate of his bones.
Now recovering at home, still unable to work, PC Barman said: “I owe everything to the surgeons who took a chance and decided not to take my legs. So many bones were broken that had I not been in a specialist trauma centre, other, less experienced medics may have amputated, but despite the ridiculous odds, they gave them a chance and four months later I was walking.
“Today is about saying thank you to them all for their excellent work.”
Darren Hankin, 41, of Bernard Avenue, Four Marks, admitted careless driving in connection with the crash and was fined £650 by magistrates who also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £95 and costs of £85 and put nine penalty points on his driving licence.
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