'I was losing blood faster than it could be transfused' 

Motor sport fanatic Mike Austin was riding to work on his much-loved motorbike when he collided with a car.

"The impact of the crash trapped my leg between my bike and the car," says Mike. "My body was slumped over and I knew my leg was in a bad way, but I didn't feel any pain."

An ambulance and paramedics arrived. They spent more than 45 minutes trying to stabilise Mike before he could be taken to hospital. The crash almost destroyed Mike's leg. The skin and muscle had been torn off it, the bones were shattered and his femoral artery badly damaged.

"The paramedics chatted to me at the side of the road for what seemed like five minutes, then took me to hospital. As soon as I arrived at A&E, blood was pumped into each arm and another bag was attached to my neck. I was losing blood faster than it could be transfused. I was still conscious, but the doctors could not find a pulse and my chances of survival were becoming slim."

Mike was taken to theatre, where surgeons tried to save his leg. During the operation, the entire volume of his blood had to be replaced four times. Two days later, doctors told Mike his leg would have to be amputated.

"By the time I was told, the pain had become so bad that I was glad it was going to be done. Blood was clotting in my leg, which was poisoning the rest of my body. I really thought I might not make it to the operating table. I felt like I was drifting away.

"When I woke up from my operation I could still barely move, but there was a major improvement in my condition."

After months of operations involving a total of 33 units of blood products, Mike is feeling positive about the future and is hoping to ride again.

"I'm still working hard with my physiotherapist and hope to be fitted with a flexible knee limb, although this is some way off at the moment.

"I'm glad to be alive and appreciate each and every day. Without blood donors, I definitely wouldn't be here."

Mike Short

Page last reviewed: 07/10/2014

Next review due: 07/10/2016