A BURTON paramedic left with severe injuries following a serious crash while on duty has revealed he is making ‘important strides’ in his recovery.
John Eames spoke to the Mail three-and-a-half years after he was left unable to walk, after a Polish lorry driver crossed onto the wrong side of the road and smashed into his ambulance.
Mr Eames spent nearly six months at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital after the crash, which happened on the A513 at Alrewas.
He was trapped in the vehicle for two-and- a-half hours and suffered a shattered knee joint and badly broken right leg.
He said: “I had to have the metal framework refitted to my leg late last year and this is still in place, taking me back to the level of mobility as seen in 2011.
“Hopefully this will be removed soon as the leg is progressing well, which will be a great help.
“It is now three-and-a-half years since my accident, believe it or not, and I still have a way to go yet until life returns to normal.”
After the incident, lorry driver Piotr Gawlik was jailed for four months for dangerous driving and was banned from the roads for two years.
Six fire crews, two ambulances and two air ambulances from Tatenhill and Cosford attended and Mr Eames was quickly diagnosed with severe leg, head and chest injuries and was losing a lot of blood.
He said: “I heard the air ambulances arrive and knew it was serious.
“My injuries were time critical and it was the difference between life and death to get me to hospital.
“Thanks to the speed of the air ambulance my leg was saved and reconstructed rather than amputated.”
In 2011, Mr Eames was the first person to be helped by PC David Rathband’s Blue Lamp Foundation, when a £2,500 cheque allowed his Burton home to be adapted to help him move around after his accident.
The charity was set up to provide immediate financial assistance to emergency service workers injured in the line of duty by a criminal act.
Mr Eames added: “Everything changed that day.
“I tried to climb a single step with the aid of crutches and it took me half an hour.”
To aid his recovery, Mr Eames has thrown himself into supporting the Blue Lamp Foundation through fund-raising events.