Man who suffered brain injury in Swaledale crash thanks air ambulance medics

Peter Coady's car.

A man who suffered a brain injury after he was involved in a serious car collision has thanked the air ambulance medics who came to his rescue.

Peter Coady, 37, was driving down the B6270 between Low Row and Gunnerside in Swaledale with his nephew Joe when his vehicle left the road and he crashed into a wall and down an embankment on December 28, 2017.

Mr Coady’s nephew managed to get out of the car and only suffered a nasty cut on his leg and whiplash, however his uncle wasn’t as lucky.

An onlooker phoned for the emergency services and firefighters from Hawes and Reeth arrived on scene and cut Mr Coady out of his car.

Both the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) were called to the incident and worked together to assess and treat Mr Coady.

The father-of-two had sustained a traumatic brain injury known as a diffuse axonal injury, which has caused him to develop expressive aphasia, meaning he has difficulty finding the right words to produce a sentence, but his comprehension generally remains intact.

He also had a stable fracture to the top and bottom of his spine, a fractured elbow and weakness on his right-hand side.

Mr Coady, from Darlington, was put into a medically-induced coma by GNAAS and airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he remained in a coma for eight weeks before regaining consciousness.

He was in hospital for a total of 11 months and was finally allowed to go home on 1 November 2018 but he continues to have physio and language therapy to help him in his recovery.

GNAAS director of operations Andy Mawson GNAAS paramedic Jamie Walsh Peter Coady and Rachel Coady.

Speaking about GNAAS, he said: “They’re fantastic, the work they do is brilliant and they really helped me on that day.”

Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: “Peter had suffered a devastating head injury in such a remote location. Everything was against him. Because the injury itself will have caused issue with the way he was able to breathe we genuinely thought his outcome would have been poor.

“Once the Yorkshire Air Ambulance arrived on scene and recognised the need for a critical care team we were deployed immediately and were able to deliver an emergency anaesthetic to put him into an induced coma and take over this breathing. This gave us the chance to optimise his physiology to increase any chance of a good outcome.

“To see him actually walk into the base to meet us was a very emotional moment. He and his wife have been incredibly strong through the whole of his recovery phase and it was a privilege to meet them under better circumstances.”

Since the incident Mr Coady’s sister Hilary Dunne has held a fundraising night and raised £2,000 for GNAAS.

Last year GNAAS was called out 1,062 times and needed to raise £5.1m.

To find out how you can help, please visit or call 01325-487263.