A pensioner has been reunited with an air ambulance paramedic who flew to his aid after a car knocked him over and left him paralysed from the chest down.
Roger Farwell, 72, was ploughed into when two cars collided and one mounted the pavement.
Mr Farwell was attending to his wife Janice at the time after she had fallen down steps at the back of Billingham’s Boyes store.
The car just missed Mr Farwell’s daughter, Michelle Noble, and injured two more passers-by who had stopped to help Mrs Farwell.
She had broken her kneecap in the fall in November 2013, and she then raised the alarm, with ambulance crews, police and fire and rescue all rushing to the scene.
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was called into action, and after treatment by the charity’s paramedic, Jane Peacock, Mr Farwell was flown to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, in just 10 minutes.
I have no memory of the air ambulance, but I appreciate that they were thereRoger Farwell
The grandfather-of-three was induced into a coma for four days. He had suffered a fractured neck, leaving him tetraplegic.
He spent six months in hospital and a further six months in rehabilitation at the Gateway in Middlesbrough.
He then lived in temporary accommodation for eight months while changes were made to his house before he finally returned to his Billingham home in July 2015.
Now, Mr Farwell and his family have visited the GNAAS’ Durham Tees Valley Airport base to meet Ms Peacock. The family also donated £5,000 to the cause during their reunion on January 20.
Mr Farwell said: “I have no memory of the air ambulance, but I appreciate that they were there.
“It’s been a big change to my life. Obviously I wish it hadn’t happened, but you just have to get on with it.”
Mrs Noble said: “We know how important GNAAS was in ensuring he received quick and appropriate care which possibly saved his life. It’s a brilliant charity.
“He was always a very active man so it’s made a dramatic difference to his life now, but we don’t know if things could have been worse.”
Ms Peacock said: “It has been wonderful to meet Roger and his family again. We rely on support like this to be able to continue to provide life-saving care.”