Two college students who were hit by a car whilst on a night out in Middlesbrough have been reunited with the ambulance crews who helped save their lives.
Kings Academy pupils Luke Mason and Matthew Lockwood, both aged 18, were on a night out with friends when they were involved in the collision outside Empire night club, in Corporation Road.
Matthew sustained a head injury, concussion and amnesia, whilst Luke sustained significant head, chest and leg injuries, requiring hours of surgery. He was placed in an induced coma for three weeks before spending further time in hospital for recovery and physiotherapy.
Although back at college, both continue to suffer with the injuries they sustained in the incident and Luke will require more surgery.
They have now been reunited with the North East Ambulance Service crews to thank them for the part they played in saving their lives.
Paramedic Nigel Furmidge and emergency care assistant Andrew Hill were first on scene, followed by clinical care manager Chris Picken, paramedic Diane Rutherford and emergency care assistant Tracy Martin.
Together they cared for both young men, treating them as best they could before rushing them on blue lights to James Cook University Hospital.
Luke is having to spend an extra year at college to catch up on his studies but is hoping to study politics at Oxford next year.
He said: “I remember coming out of the night club and crossing the road and the next thing I knew I was on the floor in a pool of blood.
“I’ve built up a picture of everything that happened but being able to see the guys again has filled in some of the gaps for me.”
“It’s surreal seeing them again,” added Matthew, who is hoping to study product design at either the University of Teesside or Sheffield University later this year. “I can’t actually remember anything so, like Luke says, it filled in some of the gaps I don’t know.”
Nigel and Andrew returned to the hospital twice to check on Luke’s condition but this was the first time they had seen him out of bed.
Andrew said: “It was one of those jobs that sticks with you, we didn’t see how it was survivable with the injuries he had. It’s so nice to be able to see him now looking so much better.”
Nigel added: “To be able to see him walking and doing so well is such a good feeling, it’s hard to put into words. It really makes your job worthwhile when you can see that you have made a real difference to someone’s life.”
Diane said: “We rarely get to follow up on people and when you see people like Luke and Matthew with such horrific injuries it’s really lovely to be able to see them again looking so well.”
“It’s harder when it’s young people because they have got their whole lives in front of them,” added Chris. “They’re incredibly lucky to be alive.”
The driver of the vehicle received a four-year sentence after pleading guilty at Teesside Crown Court.
“What’s happened to us is life changing, we won’t be the same again,” said Luke. “I’ve now started a petition to change the law; if you get in a vehicle while intoxicated in any way you might as well pick up a weapon and shoot somebody, a vehicle is just as dangerous.”
The petition can be viewed at https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-increased-punishment-for-dangerous-driving-21c9a189-55b3-46e0-8a02-0adc8bdb503b?recruiter=857077455&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition