Who we help Patient stories A kitesurfer narrowly escapes calamity "At the time of my accident I was 14 years old. I was studying at Exmouth Community College and competing Nationally as a Junior for my sport of sailing. I vividly remember my attention drifting away as I looked out of the classroom windows, I was dreaming of being on the water. I had grown up on the Exe estuary learning to sail from the age of 7. "My other passion was kitesurfing; I loved the speed and the feeling of freedom. "The day of my accident the wind was freezing, blowing down the Exe estuary from the north. The wind was 20-25 knots, ideal conditions for kitesurfing on the high tide. But a squally front increased the windspeed really quickly, so I decided to call it a day and head back to land my kite. "I made my way to where we launched and landed our kites, by this time the wind was gusting. I came just slightly off the ground and my kite lines caught a branch; I was accelerated into the air at about 40mph to around 30ft and then came crashing down onto the concrete car park. "The accident was witnessed by a number of fellow kitesurfers and friends. Fortunately amongst the crowd was Mr Adrian Harris, Consultant Emergency Physician at the RD&E. I still remember his voice and how calm he remained throughout. I had suffered multiple injuries including a broken femur, pelvis, arm and foot. I was suffering from internal bleeding and Adrian's fast diagnosis confirmed I needed airlifting by the Devon Air Ambulance. "I started drifting out of consciousness whilst being loaded into the helicopter. I remember the friendly smiles of the aircrew who assisted me that day; I knew I was in safe hands as we took off towards RD&E. "My stay in hospital was 8 weeks, with the first week in intensive care. My family were with me the whole way and it must have been a horrible experience for them as I certainly wasn't the nicest person to be around during that time. "Doctors initially thought my injuries were too severe for me to return to any sport. However, I made a full recovery and eight months later I got back in my small wooden cadet. I remember how happy I was to be back afloat, having spent so many weeks bed-ridden just dreaming of it. "I have no doubt that my set-back has given me the drive to success and a greater level of appreciation for what can be taken away at any moment. Since recovering I have pursued my passion for sailing and for the past five years I have been representing Great Britain on the International Circuit. I compete in the Finn Class, made famous by Ben Ainslie’s previous success." Ben's story had a happy outcome, even if he did have to cut out the sports for a while. It is these stories that help future supporters hear our message, so we want to hear them! Do you have a story to share? If so, drop us a line!