October 15, 2013

Withy King client defies the odds to raise money for life-saving charities

A client of Withy King's Personal Injury team, an aspiring young sports coach who was involved in a catastrophic road traffic accident will be taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon to raise money for the medical charities which saved his life.

Despite suffering from on-going pain and severe disabilities, 20-year-old Dylan Jones of Lechlade will attempt to run 13 miles on Sunday, supported by 70 friends and family. They will be running to raise vital funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Swift Medics – the two charities which saved Dylan’s life at the scene of a road traffic accident just over a year ago.

Withy King client defies the odds to raise money for life-saving charities

“I’ve always enjoyed a challenge,” said Dylan, who will be running with his twin Jessica, older sister Harriet and father Chris. “After I was discharged from hospital and found out the extent of my injuries, I knew that learning to walk was going to be my biggest challenge yet.

“Being able to push myself one step further and focus on the half-marathon as a goal, not just for myself but as a way to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Swift Medics, has helped drive me and keep me going. I just want to try and give something back as what they did to save me that night was truly amazing,” said Dylan. “I know the run is going to be very hard and my injuries will hold me back. All I want is to cross the finish line.”

Claire Kelly, Head of Charity Services at Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WWA), said: “We are so pleased we were able to be there when Dylan needed us most. His strength of character to try and overcome his injuries leaves all of us who have met Dylan full of admiration. We are incredibly grateful to Dylan and his family for their tireless efforts to support our charity by undertaking various fundraising events and taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon, as we receive no government or National Lottery funding. We completely rely on community fundraising to keep us flying.”

Paramedic Ross Culligan, who airlifted Dylan to hospital, added: “The severity of the injuries that Dylan sustained were disastrous, all the clinical team were amazed that Dylan survived more than a few hours, so to see Dylan working so hard to overcome and face up to his injuries is humbling. Being able to fly at night really did save Dylan’s life that evening.”

Dylan was riding his motorcycle home on 6 August 2012 when he was involved in a collision with a car in Lechlade. A piece of glass completely severed his trachea and oesophagus and became lodged against his spinal column. His stomach was forced up into his chest rupturing his diaphragm; he had bruised lungs, bleeding on the brain, two broken arms, a broken neck and ankle, nerve damage to his right arm, internal bleeding and a suspected uncontrolled haemorrhage.

Dylan required over an hour’s highly complex surgery at the roadside provided by Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Swift Medics, before he could be airlifted to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital where he underwent a 12-hour operation. He had several more operations after that and spent many weeks in hospital.

Dylan’s solicitor Tracy Norris-Evans said: “Dylan is an inspiration to us all. His determination to give something back to the charities which saved his life has given him a focus and played a role in his on-going rehabilitation. Running will cause him considerable physical pain but mentally everyone recognises that it’s important to him that he takes part. Dylan has a long and challenging road ahead of him and his courage is truly remarkable.”

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