MARTIN

When Martin Yarrow (58) lost control of his paraglider during launch, he was unlucky to be thrown face down on to a rock and lose consciousness. Unable to control his paraglider wing, he was at the mercy of the wind as it repeatedly lifted then dropped him on to the jagged rock outcrops until it eventually became airborne. Martin - injured and hanging limp in his harness – flew off away from, Cairnwell at Glenshee, circling around the mountain until crashing into the north face. Fellow sportsmen called for help and tried desperately to reach their friend. Eventually three managed to reach him on a steep slope and freed him from his harness as Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance flew to the scene. “I don’t remember a thing about it,” he explained. “I guess my first injury was when I tripped and knocked myself unconscious as my face smashed off the rocky ground. I only know that it was the start of a life-threatening sequence of horrific events because of what I’ve learned since.” As Martin was repeatedly smashed off the mountainside he sustained a catalogue of serious injuries including broken ribs, collapsed lung, fractured back and numerous head and face cuts and fractures. “As we approached we could see people on the rockface and I managed to land the helicopter on a piece of solid ground higher up the hillside from where Martin was lying,” said SCAA senior pilot Captain Russell Myles. Paramedics clambered down to Martin’s side and immediately assessed his injuries and started treatment, preparing him for extraction by stretcher hoist to a Royal Navy search and rescue helicopter. “It was a very challenging situation involving a multi-agency response and every second was vital,” said SCAA paramedic Andy Walker. “Martin was in a really poor state and we were right on the edge of our comfort working without ropes. “It was the most demanding mission we had responded to at that time, dealing with potentially life-threatening injuries in a challenging and taxing location.” Andy flew in the RN helicopter with a consultant from Tayside Trauma Team, providing continuous care as Martin was flown to Ninewells Hospital. “This was a situation where key rapid intervention to get critical care on site was vital rather than when the casualty got to hospital,” said Andy. Two weeks later - after lengthy stays in the Intensive Care and High Dependency units - Martin was discharged from hospital. Several months later he was well enough to pay the crew a visit at SCAA’s Perth Airport base. “These guys helped save my life - I owe them so much,” he said. “They put their own welfare at risk to get emergency paramedic care to me as quickly as possible on the side of a mountain and their response undoubtedly played a key part in my survival. I either wouldn’t be here or in as good a position as I am now without them. “How do you find the words to thank someone for that?”

 

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